More federal flood relief coming to eastern Kentucky

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The U.S. the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide eastern Kentucky communities with nearly $300 million through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program, known as CDBG-DR.

According to the office of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, the HUD long-term recovery funds, totaling $297,994,000 will help Eastern Kentucky recover from last summer’s devastating floods, which took more than 40 lives and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

20 counties are eligible to receive CDBG-DR funding: Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Cumberland, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Whitley, and Wolfe.

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The state of Kentucky will receive the funds initially and then determine grant amounts for individual communities.

The CDBG-DR program provides highly flexible funds for long-term recovery in communities affected by natural disasters. According to HUD, these funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including helping local governments cover their cost share of federal disaster recovery programs from other agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Highway Administration. Communities can also use these funds to address their unique housing needs and promote economic development.

“These funds have significant meaning not just on the local level, but on a very personal one,” said Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester.  “This spending uniquely positions the Commonwealth and specifically communities devastated by the 2022 floods for significant recovery.  It gives local city leaders the autonomy to rebuild their communities in a deliberate, thoughtful way and will instill hope for families rebuilding the foundation of their lives.  I so appreciate Leader McConnell’s dedication to our Commonwealth in ways generations of Kentucky families will benefit from.”

Meanwhile, McConnell was released from the hospital Monday after treatment for a concussion and will continue to recover in an inpatient rehabilitation facility, a spokesman said.

McConnell’s office said his doctors discovered over the weekend that he had also suffered a “minor rib fracture” after he tripped and fell at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, last Wednesday night.

It is not known how long it will be before he is able to return to work.