Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has declared a major disaster for Kentucky, opening the way for the use of federal disaster funds to help meet the recovery needs of families and businesses victimized by tornadoes and other extreme weather that hit the state in late April.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the President took the action following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal assistance. The declaration covers damage to private property from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began on April 27.
After the declaration, Allbaugh designated the following 12 counties eligible for aid to stricken residents and business owners: Breckinridge, Crittenden, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Meade, Ohio, Union and Webster.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster related expenses. Low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Allbaugh indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Michael Bolch of FEMA to coordinate the federal assistance.
Bolch said affected residents and business owners in the designated counties can begin the disaster application process by calling 1 800 621-FEMA (3362), or 1 800 462 7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll free telephone numbers will be available starting Wednesday, May 8, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.