Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, National Guard, State Police, Energy and Environment and Transportation Cabinets all contributing to emergency response
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 2, 2021) – On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on the state’s emergency response after record flooding over the weekend.
“What we have seen is some of the worst rain in Western Kentucky in parts of Calloway County, to parts of cities underwater in Eastern Kentucky. So many of our people are struggling right now,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have the National Guard out in force working with numerous local officials who are providing great leadership.”
Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said 49 cities and counties have declared states of emergency.
“We have reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and asked FEMA Region 4 to send their lead investigator to the state of Kentucky to look at the homes that were damaged and those that have been inundated,” said Director Dossett. “This is truly a record-breaking event. The water is still high, and this is not over.”
The Governor announced multiple state agencies, including the Kentucky National Guard (KYNG), are responding to a levee breach in Jackson, Kentucky, providing emergency transport for Kentuckians to high ground using high-axle vehicles.
Heavy rains have elevated the north fork of the Kentucky River, creating pressure that is pushing water through the dam that sits under Kentucky Highway 15 in Jackson and connects to Panbowl Lake.
“The corrective action that is being taken as we speak is to place sand bags in the area that has been eroded,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Jim Gray.
KYNG personnel are providing flooding response support across eight counties: Barren, Breathitt, Calloway, Estill, Johnson, Laurel, Lee and Pike.
In addition, KYNG completed three aviation rescues in Lee, Owsley and Rockcastle counties.
Kentucky State Police (KSP) troopers are also assisting with evacuation efforts.
KSP confirmed that Kentucky River Medical Center is nearly finished with its evacuation. A local nursing home in Jackson, Nim Henson Geriatric Center, is fully evacuated. Jackson Mayor Laura Thomas has also called for an evacuation of a nearby mobile home park.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has two inspectors on site and a dam safety supervisor, who is an engineer, heading to the site. Sandbags will be placed where the earthen dam is eroded, in an attempt to stop the flow under the highway.
KYTC geologists and engineers are on the scene evaluating conditions. KY 15 is currently open to traffic.
“I could hear in local leaders’ voices just how much they are hurting for their people who have suffered, who have had their homes destroyed, but I could also hear the resolute leadership that they are using to help get their folks through this,” said Gov. Beshear.
This morning, Gov. Beshear joined Calloway County Judge/Executive Kenny Imes, Murray Mayor Bob Rogers, Murray State President Bob Jackson and the Kentucky National Guard in Calloway County to witness flood damage first-hand.
“We flew over several areas where infrastructure was severely impacted, and stopped by one location where transportation crews have been hard at work making the road drivable for residents,” said Gov. Beshear. “I also spoke with officials about the impact the flood has had on local business, homes and the community.”
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 1,080
New deaths today: 19
Positivity rate: 4.76%
Total deaths: 4,671
Currently hospitalized: 684
Currently in ICU: 178
Currently on ventilator: 82
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton and Boone. Each county reported at least 45 new cases.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
The Governor encouraged Kentuckians to sign up for notifications at vaccine.ky.gov
“Not only will our website tell you which phase you are in specifically, you can supply your contact information so we can communicate with you when appointments become available at new and existing sites across the state,” said Gov. Beshear.
The website also lists statewide regional vaccination partners, so Kentuckians can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment.
Kentucky’s vaccine hotline, 855-598-2246, has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when appointments are available.
This week, Kentucky will receive more than 98,000 new COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Today, the White House COVID-19 Response Team told governors the supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to states will increase from 14.5 million doses to 15.2 million doses per week. 2.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be shipped in the same period; in total, 18 million doses will be sent to states this week.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.