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As Kentucky Rebuilds, FEMA Helps Build Resiliency

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Release Date:
5월 4, 2023

Frankfort, KY – FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides supplemental grants to commonwealth and local governments, to help communities quickly respond to and recover from major disasters. FEMA’s engineers and project managers work with local officials to help rebuild and restore community facilities and infrastructure damaged by the severe storms and flooding that occurred between July 26-29, 2022. 

Twenty counties were approved for public assistance categories A through G which provides reimbursement for emergency work and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities as well as hazard mitigation. Some of the hardest hit counties lost fire stations, schools, roads and bridges.  Where possible FEMA adds funds to build resiliency into projects to protect life and property from future natural disasters. In addition, teams of experts have visited sites and met with local emergency and flood plain managers to provide guidance on all eligible projects for cost-effectiveness and engineering feasibility.

Public Assistance officials and Hazard Mitigation specialists have completed a review of more than 200 projects; and added resiliency measures to more than 100 of these projects.

Resiliency Dollars at Work

The McCarty Bridge in Johnson County was completely replaced after being dislodged during the floods. FEMA’s Mitigation experts combined bioengineering techniques, using natural systems in place of traditional construction, and structural engineering to strengthen the bridge support structure and armor the abutments to provide protection to each end of the bridge against future floods, in an environmentally friendly manner.

Marina Road in Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County was severely damaged, limiting access to Dewey Lake. Working with Kentucky Department of Parks, FEMA engineers reviewed and approved a request for lining the adjacent lake channel to prevent water from the lake rerouting its flow to damage Marina Road. Additionally, bio-engineering solutions were used to harden the road embankment and prevent future erosion.

The City of Campton, in Wolfe County, water treatment facility suffered multiple water main and feeder line breaks due to the flooding. Mitigation officials provided grant funding for the City’s recommended solution to reroute multiple water mains away from flood prone areas and funded directional boring of the new mainlines to increase protection against future floods.

Pratt Drive Bridge in Hindman, in Knott County, was severely damaged by high velocity flood waters. Rather than repairing the existing structure, FEMA has funded a half-million-dollar project to replace the structure. These structural improvements to the bridge not only improve its performance in floods, but also increases the safety of daily traffic flow across the span.

During the flood, the Elkhorn Dam in Jenkins was overtopped resulting in severe erosion along a portion of the dam and threatening a total collapse. FEMA provided additional funding and a technical solution to armor the entire face of the dam, protecting it against future erosion and providing additional strength against future high flow floods.

With more than 10 presidentially declared disasters in Kentucky over the last five years, FEMA officials continue working to ensure communities are reimbursed for debris removal and recovery activities and have the resiliency to withstand future disasters.  FEMA’s mission statement—Helping people before, during, and after disasters—is embodied by the thousands of hours spent by individuals dedicated to helping Kentuckians recover.