FEMA approves $20 million for debris clean up

Published 10:03 am Friday, November 24, 2023


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $20,835,364 to the state of Kentucky to reimburse the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management for the costs of emergency protective measures taken following the 2022 Eastern Kentucky Floods.

During late July 2022, severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides deposited debris throughout Kentucky, leading to a Presidential State of Emergency declaration. Forty-five people were killed, and thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the flooding, which created an immediate threat to property, and the health and safety of the public. As a result, KYEM used contractors to remove debris throughout Eastern Kentucky.

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Approximately 813 tons of vegetative debris, 102,660 tons of construction and demolition debris, 1,764 tons of white goods debris and 298 tons of E-waste debris were removed from roads and public property, including right of ways.

Funding for this Public Assistance project is authorized under federal law, and is designed to reimburse eligible applicants for the cost of debris removal; life-saving emergency protective measures; and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities like buildings, roads and utilities.

FEMA’s PA grant program is an essential source of funding for communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. KYEM worked with FEMA during all phases of the PA program and conducted final reviews of FEMA-approved projects.

Applicants work directly with FEMA to develop project worksheets and scopes of work. Following approvals by FEMA and KYEM,  FEMA obligates funding for the project.

FEMA’s PA program provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations including some houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

The federal share for this Public Assistance project is 100 percent of the eligible costs for work conducted during a continuous 30-day period of the state’s choosing, as long as it is within the first 120 days of the disaster declaration.