Gov. Beshear Issues State of Emergency Due to Severe Storm Damage in Nicholas County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 3, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear issued a state of emergency following a severe storm July 30 in Nicholas County that resulted in historic flooding, with severe impacts to infrastructure, government properties and private properties. The Governor also sent a letter today to President Joe Biden requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments in Nicholas County.

Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jaqueline Coleman visited Nicholas County this afternoon to tour the damage from the severe storms and torrential rain late last week.

“We are grateful for the immediate outpouring of assistance for Nicholas County provided by numerous volunteers and members of Team Kentucky, but our people still need help,” Gov. Beshear said. “That’s why I filed an emergency order and requested Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments from FEMA. To the people of Nicholas County, your neighbors are here for you, and we are working to provide relief.”

The county received 4.07 inches of rain, which caused major flash flooding in downtown Carlisle and along Brushy Fork Creek, causing multiple road closures, flooded streets and inundated vehicles. One resident died of drowning. Approximately 80 homes and 30 businesses have been destroyed by flooding. Nicholas County officials estimate over $1.5 million in infrastructure damage, including the city’s sewer system, which is still not operational.

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management has been on site since Friday morning to provide assistance to local officials. County and city officials currently are performing damage assessments. Once complete, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will then be asked to perform a Joint Damage Assessment for Public and Individual Assistance.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has provided heavy equipment to assist the City of Carlisle clear debris and is working to address standing water with abatements. The Kentucky National Guard Armory is being used as a flood response resource distribution center and is available for residents to use showers. Multiple volunteer organizations have also been activated to support residents.

“We have been working with county and city officials on a coordinated response to assist with sheltering and emergency services,” stated Michael Dossett, director of Kentucky Emergency Management.  “We are requesting federal assistance in the form of a joint FEMA assessment team to assess the damages as soon as possible.”

Dossett added: “We are creating a multiagency recovery center that will leverage all state cabinets and state partners in a community solution for the flooding event in Carlisle. That will include insurance, agriculture, volunteer assistance, disaster services and more. We hope to announce the opening of the recovery center and the location in the next several days.”

Residents of Nicholas County who have been affected by the flooding are encouraged to contact Nicholas County Emergency Management or the City of Carlisle Emergency Management for assistance.