Gov. Beshear Provides $1 Million to Help Nicholas County’s Local Government Restore Infrastructure Damaged by Historic Flood

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that he has awarded up to $1 million from a Flood Control Program to help the local government in Nicholas County restore infrastructure damaged in historic flooding that occurred this summer.

The county received 4.07 inches of rain in a two-hour period overnight July 29. The rainfall deluge exceeded the 1,000-year return rate and resulted in damage to homes and government property, as well as numerous high-water rescues, multiple road closures and one fatality.

The Governor toured the damaged areas and declared a state of emergency. Following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff evaluating the damage in early August, the Governor requested that the agency declare a major disaster declaration and specifically asked for individual assistance for residents impacted. After an appeal, FEMA issued a final denial determination. Without assistance from FEMA, the Governor has been searching for ways to help the county.

“We know this is a rare event where there was so much devastation, yet the county and residents did not qualify for FEMA aid,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today we are able to share some good news and provide funds to help the county restore critical infrastructure. Judge/Executive Hamilton has indicated that some of the funds will be used to replace critical emergency response vehicles, including a fire truck, ambulance and law enforcement vehicles that were badly damaged in the flood.”

In addition to emergency management vehicles, the funds will assist Nicholas County in restoring damaged public infrastructure, buildings, equipment and other items that were included in the damage assessment report.

Nicholas County Judge/Executive Steve Hamilton and his administration are working with local officials to determine which expenditures require the most urgent needs.

“Although our ‘little community with a big heart’ aches, we have not lost hope. We won’t give up,” said Judge/Executive Hamilton. “It is with a grateful heart that I accept, on behalf of my community, this grant. With these funds, I vow to oversee the process of rebuilding and reinforcing the essential infrastructure of Nicholas County. With your support, Governor – we will overcome. Please know Nicholas County thanks you.”

This week, the Governor also requested the U.S. Small Business Administration issue a disaster declaration for Nicholas County. If approved, the disaster declaration would provide eligible business owners with low-interest loans to reopen Nicholas County businesses and employ county residents.

The flooding affected 88 homes and 29 businesses, as well as the city’s wastewater treatment plant, fire station and city garage. The estimated damage to roads, bridges, buildings and equipment, along with the cost of debris removal, totals more than $3.8 million.

The funds announced Thursday are administered through the Department for Local Government.