FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2022) – Today, following a morning briefing on the state’s response to devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky overnight, Gov. Andy Beshear’s Team Kentucky update focused on the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.
The Governor also updated Kentuckians on new economic development growth and the dedication of a memorial highway honoring the service of Cpl. Jacob M. Moore, a Boyd County Marine. He also named everyone working to help aid the counties affected by recent flash flooding in Eastern Kentucky as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
Earlier today, Gov. Beshear declared a State of Emergency due to severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky. To view updates shared during the Governor’s 9:30 a.m. briefing, click here.
During the 12:30 p.m. Team Kentucky Update, the Governor urged those in Eastern Kentucky to remain weather-aware as additional rain is expected through the day with more possible throughout the weekend.
“This is an ongoing, natural disaster. We are in the midst of it and for some places, it is going to continue through tonight with the possibility of more rain in the days to come,” said Gov. Beshear. “We urge everyone to continue to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe.”
Gov. Beshear noted that he reached out to West Virginia’s governor, and they are sending two aircraft with hoist capabilities to aid rescue efforts. He also spoke with the federal government, and there will be a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response team on the ground by tonight in Eastern Kentucky.
The Governor also confirmed the loss of three Kentuckians, adding, “Unfortunately, we expect the fatality number to rise to double-digits, which is heartbreaking and something we rarely see. This is going to take time.”
If Kentuckians have a missing loved one in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher or Perry counties, please do not call 911. Instead, call Kentucky State Police Post 13 directly at 606-435-6069 or your local law enforcement agency. Please note phone lines are extremely busy right now and it may take multiple calls to get through.
The adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton said, “The Governor alluded to the aircraft that the Kentucky National Guard currently has working in the area. We’ve got three UH-60 Black Hawks that are hoist capable, meaning they are actively engaged with picking up people off the rooftops. We’ve also been in contact with the adjutant general out of Tennessee. They are also providing helicopters with hoist capabilities. Is this just meeting the need that we’re tracking right now? No. It’s striving to get ahead of what we anticipate the need to be.”
He added, “The Governor also mentioned that we’ve got what we call ‘zodiac boats.’ This is an inflatable, rigid boat that’s often used in swift water response and rescue efforts. The Department of Fish and Wildlife have some of their boats and crews currently engaged with it. We are going to augment their efforts. We are bringing folks down from the airwing that’s based out of Louisville right now. If you look up over you, you might see that those are going to be airlifted underneath our helicopters.”
Gov. Beshear Launches Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
Today, Gov. Beshear launched the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund for families impacted by the historic flooding. These funds can help with food, shelter and other necessities of life and supplement any emergency funds that come into the area.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky. I wish I could tell you why areas – where people may not have that much – continue to get hit and lose everything. I cannot give you the why, but I know what we do in response to it. And the answer is: Everything we can,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, we’re giving everyone that opportunity to help through the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.”
The website for donations is now live at TeamEKYFloodReliefFund.ky.gov.
Donations may be made through the online portal, and there are additional instructions on the website about how to pay with a check. Monetary donations are the priority at this stage, but when we turn to in-kind donations, the priority will be water and cleaning supplies.
Economic Development Update
“Today we are going to need to support those who are living through the unimaginable at the moment, and at the same time celebrate the companies that are investing in us and creating a brighter future for our families,” said Gov. Beshear.
Today, the Governor highlighted five economic development projects that are investing $655 million in the commonwealth and creating 496 jobs.
Gov. Beshear announced Hydro Aluminum Metals USA LLC, a producer of recycled aluminum products, will invest $15 million and retain up to 56 full-time employees at its Henderson plant. Hydro’s investment will support two projects simultaneously, including the installation of a new homogenization furnace to improve the facility’s ability to meet specifications within the growing U.S. automotive market.
“This is a very exciting investment for us at Hydro, but more importantly, it’s an exciting announcement for Henderson,” said Duncan Pitchford, head of product supply and joint venture offtake for Hydro. “We’re making an investment in Henderson that will allow us to produce advanced products to serve the growing automotive market.”
The Governor announced another major investment in Kentucky’s bourbon industry as Beam Suntory will expand the capacity of Jim Beam Brands Co. with a $400 million investment that will create more than 50 full-time jobs at the Booker Noe Distillery in Boston.
Gov. Beshear announced continued growth of the commonwealth’s manufacturing sector as O-I Glass Inc. will invest $239 million toward a new glass bottle manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, creating 140 high-wage jobs for Kentucky residents.
On Wednesday, the Governor joined officials from Louisville and Purem by Eberspaecher representatives to celebrate the opening of the automotive supplier’s Louisville operation, which is expected to create close to 250 quality jobs and will serve as the company’s seventh site in the United States.
Gov. Beshear announced a $500,000 state grant, paired with a local match from the Berea Industrial Development Authority, to provide $1 million in upgrades at the Mayde Road Industrial Park in Madison County.
The Governor also announced that KY Innovation, the entrepreneurship office within the Cabinet for Economic Development, will be participating in the 20th annual Lexington Minority Business Expo as a presenting sponsor. The exposition, which will be held next week, brings together minority and women business owners to network, learn about new opportunities and create growth plans.
Dedication of Highway Signs Honoring Boyd County Marine
Gov. Beshear, along with state and local officials, joined the American Legion in Boyd County on Monday to dedicate the “Corporal Jacob M. Moore, USMC Memorial Highway” and honor the life of the local Marine and service to our country. Moore, 24, of Catlettsburg, died March 19 in a military aircraft crash while on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in Norway.
Team Kentucky All-Star
Gov. Beshear named everyone working to help aid the counties affected by flash flooding as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. He thanked Emergency Medical Services, paramedics and firefighters; Kentucky State Police; Local police and emergency responders; Kentucky National Guard members; Community support providers; Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife staff; Kentucky Division of Emergency Management staff; Kentucky Transportation Cabinet staff and anyone working to help.
He said these heroes are working around the clock on the ground to save lives.
“Kentuckians are good, strong people. We are always there for one another. Right now, we have people putting themselves in harm’s way to help other people.” Gov. Beshear said. “If you are out there helping your fellow human being right now, you are a Team Kentucky All-Star. We appreciate you, we love you and we need you.”