LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sen. Mitch McConnell announced Kentucky will receive an additional $49 million for 2021 tornado and flooding recovery through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds were secured in negotiations for the Continuing Resolution to fund the government that passed the Senate earlier this year.
The funding will help Kentucky recover from several major disasters that occurred in the Commonwealth in 2021, including last December’s devastating tornado outbreak in western Kentucky and the flooding in eastern Kentucky during February and March 2021.
“Eastern and Western Kentucky are still recovering from the disasters that hit the Commonwealth in 2021 and need all the help they can get to keep rebuilding,” said McConnell. “Today’s announcement will help areas affected by last year’s disasters fill gaps not funded by other state and federal programs and will allow them to continue recovering quickly.”
“Since the devastating flooding last year, Sen. McConnell has not only been on site multiple times, but is always just a phone call away. His ability to secure more federal funding is invaluable and a sign that we will continue to rebuild. The catastrophic flooding that occurred this year highlights that the need for infrastructure and housing funding at the local, state, and federal level is ongoing,” said State Senator Brandon Smith.
According to a news release, the funds from HUD are highly flexible and can be used for long-term recovery. They can also be used for a variety of purposes, including helping local governments cover the cost share of federal disaster recovery programs from other agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration. The funds can be used to rebuild homes, businesses and promote economic development.
Kentucky has been reeling from the compounding effects of these natural disasters, which have leveled homes and towns in both the eastern and western parts of the state. Most recently, historic flash-flooding devastated eastern Kentucky, killing at least 41 and leaving hundreds without homes.
In response to the devastation, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear established the Council for Community Recovery and Resilience to help coordinate overall strategy when disasters strike.