Gov. Beshear’s Initial Request for Federal Disaster Declaration in 13 Eastern Kentucky Counties Approved by President Biden

Governor encourages Kentuckians to contribute to Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2022) – Today, Gov. Beshear said President Joe Biden has approved his initial request for federal aid to assist with recovery efforts in 13 Eastern Kentucky counties devastated by historic flooding.

Federal funding is available to the commonwealth, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in the counties of Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Wolfe. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth.

“We thank President Biden and the federal government for being responsive in the commonwealth’s time of need. We asked for this last night; it came this morning – one of the fastest disaster declarations we’ve seen, and we are grateful for it,” Gov. Beshear said. “To all the families that know you’ve already sustained a loss, we’re going to grieve with you, we’re going to support you and we’re going to be here for you, not just today, but tomorrow and in the weeks and years to come.”

Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, attended Friday’s 10:30 a.m. Eastern time media briefing and has named Brett H. Howard as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

“On behalf of the president, we are here to support you now, and we will also be here to assist you as you go through your recovery, as long as you need us,” Criswell said.

Other information shared at Friday’s 10:30 a.m. briefing includes:

  • 16 Kentuckians in four counties have been confirmed dead and that number is growing.
    • One person, an 81-year-old woman, has died in Perry County.
    • 11 people have died in Knott County, including a 63-year-old man, a 65-year-old woman and two children.
    • Two people have died in Letcher County, including a 79-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman.
    • Two people have died in Clay County, including a 76-year-old woman.
  • The emergency is ongoing. In some areas, water will not crest until tomorrow.

Missing Persons

  • Kentucky State Police (KSP) provided instructions for how to report missing loved ones, depending on the county. Only dial 911 if you have an emergency. Click here to find the correct number to call to report missing persons based on the county they live in.

Ways to Help

  • Donate to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. The funds will be used to provide long-term relief to individuals directly impacted by this historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Donations will help with food, shelter and other necessities of life and supplement emergency funds that come into the area.
  • Collect water and cleaning supplies to donate once it is safe to transport supplies.

“If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it. We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together,” Gov. Beshear said.

Shelter Areas

  • There are 10 total shelters, four are organized by the Red Cross and six are independent.
  • There are 337 occupants at the shelters.
  • There are updates to the three state parks that are being used for shelter:
    • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park is experiencing power outages and road obstruction from washout and debris. When the lodge is functional it will serve as an emergency shelter as well.
    • Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is providing temporary housing for 128 people, occupying 36 rooms and two cottages and four campers. Rooms are booked, but campgrounds are still available.
    • Pine Mountain State Resort Park has four rooms available for temporary housing.
  • A Red Cross shelter is also open at Floyd County Community Center located at 7199 KY-80, Langley, KY, 41645.
  • If you have been impacted by the recent flash floods, please call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).


  • The Kentucky National Guard rescued 119 individuals by aircraft.
  • KSP rescued eight by air on Thursday. KSP has two helicopters in the air today.
  • The Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron, along with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, rescued 64 individuals.
  • KY, WV, and TN are flying a total of 14 aircraft today.
  • 20 large high-axle military vehicles will begin transporting individuals to shelters.

Power Outages

  • There are approximately 23,000 power outages reported.
  • Kentucky Power warns customers to stay away from all downed lines. 
  • Never touch downed power lines, no matter how harmless they look. 
  • It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. 
  • All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. 
  • Also, never touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water since they can conduct electricity. 
  • Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. 
  • Call Kentucky Power at 800-572-1113 to report hazards.

Water Outages

  • Two systems were not operational as of 9:30 a.m. Those systems are Fleming-Neon and Jackson water systems.
  • There are 21 other water systems with limited operations due to flooding and power outages.

Natural Gas Safety

  • Approximately 135 customers have been isolated and service discontinued due to severe flooding in Hindman, Knott County.
  • Kentucky Frontier Gas Jackson reported this morning Frontier Gas had to shut off system due to flooding of regulator stations under 10 feet of water, issues with low pressure system and mains on dam. They have 635 meters out.
  • Flooding can damage your natural gas lines and appliances, causing a safety hazard. Here’s what to do if flooding affects your home or business:
    • In the event of a flood, turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off.
    • If the natural gas is shut off at the meter, call your gas provider to turn it back on.
    • If water levels were high enough to cover the gas meter, call your gas provider to check your meter and regulator before using your gas appliances. Floodwaters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses, possibly resulting in a natural gas leak.
    • If your appliances have been impacted by flooding, do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A qualified professional should check, clean, repair and test all gas appliances and pipes.

Local States of Emergency

  • At least 14 counties and three cities have declared local states of emergency: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Letcher, Owsley, Pike, Lee, Perry, Leslie, Magoffin, Martin, Johnson, Knott and Wolfe counties; and the cities of Beattyville, Paintsville and Salyersville.

Panbowl Lake Evacuations Contacts

  • Kentucky River Medical Center
    540 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
    • 17 Patients
    • 606-666-6000
    • Public Health sending MAB – Mobile Ambulance Bus to evacuate all patients.
  • Nim Henson Geriatric Center
    420 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
    • 100+ Patients
    • 606-666-2456
    • Public Health sending MAB – Mobile Ambulance Bus to evacuate all patients

Gov. Beshear Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Price Gouging
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order prohibiting price gouging in the aftermath of the devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

Under the state declaration, Gov. Beshear is empowered to implement certain provisions to protect consumers. The Governor’s executive order prevents the sale of goods or services, such as gasoline, at a price grossly in excess of its sale point before the state of emergency was declared. The executive order remains in place for the duration of the state of emergency.

To report price gouging call 888.432.9257 or visit

Governor’s Executive Order on Pharmaceuticals
The Governor signed an executive order allowing pharmacists located in any county of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to dispense emergency refills of up to a 30 day supply of any non-controlled medication for residents of any county of the commonwealth. Pharmacists in counties affected by the emergency may temporarily operate a pharmacy in an area not designated on the pharmacy permit. The order will expire in 30 days but is subject to renewal.

Other Updates
Yesterday, 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. Eastern time briefing, click here.

To learn more about the Governor’s initial response to Eastern Kentucky floods, see yesterday’s Team Kentucky Update release.

 To learn more about the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, see yesterday’s release on its launch. To learn more about the federal disaster declaration, see today’s Federal release.

Today at 8:52 a.m., Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians via video on the historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky and his administration’s response.