Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 26, 2010

FEMA: Pulaski flooding ‘disaster’

Somerset —  

The wait is over, and the news is good.

Late Monday evening, Pulaski County was added to the ever-growing list of Kentucky counties designated federal disaster areas, which means residents affected by the floods from earlier this month will be able to seek federal assistance for cleanup and repair efforts.

“We’re relieved to have an answer,” said Pulaski County Executive Secretary Tiffany Finley, who worked alongside federal and local officials in seeking assistance.

Finley, along with Pulaski County Public Safety Director Tiger Robinson, toured several sites, both public and private, in the area on Thursday, May 13 with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assessment members.

During Tuesday’s Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting, Robinson announced the declaration, stating that hundreds of homes were affected by the floods that swept through the area on the weekend of May 1 and 2. 

Finley said Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock’s office had fielded approximately 200 phone calls between the May 3 emergency declaration by local governments and Monday.

“We’re excited that the wait is over and people can register with FEMA and hopefully get the help they need,” Finley said.

The storm system that dumped between five and seven inches of rain on the area caused disastrous flooding in other areas of the state, and several counties had already been declared disaster areas before Pulaski was added to the list, including Adair, Bath, Boyd, Carter, Casey, Franklin, Greenup, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Metcalfe, Rockcastle, Rowan, and Woodford counties.

Several deaths had been reported in the state in connection with the floods, but no injuries were reported in Pulaski County during the initial rains, even though several high-water rescues took place. 

Rescuers were dispatched to Shopville on Monday, May 3, to aid three men who attempted to kayak in the flooded waters of a creek. They were able to get to safety, but 18-year-old Jonathan Tyler Pickerell was killed when his kayak overturned while he was crossing the Fishing Creek area of Lake Cumberland on Wednesday, May 5.

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