$1.25 million will come from the federal government and will be matched by state funds
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced $2.5 million in funding to study flood mitigation strategies for the Kentucky River in Beattyville and portions of Lee County.
Half of the funds will come in federal dollars from an earmark Congressman Rogers secured for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the other half will come in state funds from Kentucky’s Flood Control Local Match Participation Program (LMPP).
“In 2021, Beattyville, Lee County and surrounding counties were hit with flooding on a historic level,” said Gov. Beshear. “In July of this year, we saw the worst flooding event of our lifetimes in Eastern Kentucky. We are committed to building back stronger than before, and this study is one step in helping us find ways we can make our communities safer from, and better prepared for, flooding events.”
Congressman Rogers, who is Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives, has requested a second federal earmark for $800,000 to be used for the study in fiscal year 2023, which could pass by the end of this year.
“Our region has suffered tremendous loss due to flooding year after year. Along the Cumberland River, we’ve had great success in protecting our communities with the help of the Army Corps, and I’m hopeful that we can do the same in the Kentucky River valley,” said Congressman Rogers. “Flood control projects take time and a lot of money, so we must be patient in the process, but thanks to Gov. Beshear, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers and our local leaders, we have a plan in place with vital funding to get the work underway. We must protect our people and our communities from future flooding.”
The study will examine both structural (levee, floodwall, etc.) and nonstructural (facility relocation, elevation of structures, etc.) flood mitigation strategies in Beattyville and parts of Lee County. General Investigation Feasibility Studies by the USACE involve jointly conducting a study with a local sponsor, who is responsible for matching the federal funding. Lee County is the local sponsor for this study, and its matching funds will come in the form of state dollars through the LMPP.
“Lee County and Beattyville witnessed historic flooding in 2021,” said Lee County Judge/Executive Chuck Caudill Jr. “The Kentucky River and tributaries left their banks and flooded not only our community, but communities all along the Kentucky River Basin. We thank Congressman Rogers for earmarking funding and motivating the Army Corps of Engineers to begin a study to help mitigate future flooding damage.”
Judge Caudill continued: “Thanks to Gov. Beshear, who worked with state agencies to find the matching funds to conduct the $2.5 million study. This aggressive response by all shows there is no partisanship when serving the people of Eastern Kentucky. Beattyville and Lee County would have been unable to do anything without their support. This study will fuel future plans for community development and save lives. Thank you again, Congressman Rogers and Gov. Beshear.”
The LMPP is appropriated funding by the Kentucky General Assembly and is administered by the Governor’s Department for Local Government. The LMPP uses state funds from the Capital Budget as grants to assist local governments in meeting federal cost-share match requirements for flood mitigation activities.
“The historic levels of flooding in Eastern Kentucky this past summer has forever changed the landscape of this region, and I am so pleased with today’s announcement,” President Stivers said. “Any efforts we can take to mitigate the damage of future natural disasters is undoubtedly worthwhile. The devastation we saw earlier this year was like nothing ever experienced in Eastern Kentucky, and I am pleased to know this study may protect lives in Lee County. For that purpose, I’ve been adamant we get this done.”
“The citizens of Beattyville and Lee County welcome the flood study,” said Beattyville Mayor Scott Jackson. “This study could help prepare for future flooding issues in our region.”
For more information on General Investigation Studies, click here.