KENTUCKY — Recovery efforts are underway for Eastern Kentucky after flash flooding devastated the area overnight in what Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear described as some of the worst flooding in the state’s history.
At a media briefing on Thursday morning, Beshear declared a state of emergency in the region and mobilized the Kentucky National Guard to deliver supplies and rescue Kentuckians. The state of emergency declaration opens up state financial resources to help fund assistance and recovery. It also empowers state agencies to coordinate efforts across federal, state, local, private sector and nonprofit agencies to minimize damage and restore essential services.
Kroger donation drive
Kroger and UPS, two of Kentucky's largest employers, are teaming up to deliver relief supplies to victims of the catastrophic flooding, the companies announced Monday.
Those interested in donating can bring in cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies and baby wipes. Donation bins are available at 10 Kroger stores in Louisville, Lexington, Shelbyville, Georgetown, Corbin and London:
- 12501 SHELBYVILLE ROAD, MIDDLETOWN KY 40243
- 5929 TIMBER RIDGE DRIVE, PROSPECT KY 40059
- 9080 TAYLORSVILLE ROAD, LOUISVILLE KY 40299
- 4915 DIXIE HIGHWAY, LOUISVILLE KY 40216
- 3175 BEAUMONT CENTRE CIR., LEXINGTON KY 40513
- 3101 RICHMOND ROAD, LEXINGTON KY 405091709
- 311 BOONE STATION ROAD, SHELBYVILLE KY 40065
- 106 MARKETPLACE CIRCLE, GEORGETOWN KY 40324
- 1732 WEST HIGHWAY 192, LONDON KY 40741
- 14889 NORTH US HIGHWAY 25, CORBIN KY 40701
On Thursday, UPS will deliver the supplies to Manchester.
“UPS is committed to delivering what matters, including helping those in need. We’ve begun an employee donation drive collecting relief supplies and want to offer the public the same opportunity to contribute,” UPS Airlines President Jim Joseph said.
In addition to the donation drive, both The Kroger Foundation and The UPS Foundation will make $25,000 grants to Volunteers for America, designated for flood relief, for a total of $50,000.
In a briefing Thursday afternoon, Beshear announced the creation of the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, where people can make donations to help with recovery. The site, teamekyfloodrelieffund.ky.gov, went live at 4 p.m. on Thursday. In his announcement, the governor said that the fund would go directly to help families impacted by the flooding and help with ongoing relief efforts.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky. I wish I could tell you why areas – where people may not have that much – continue to get hit and lose everything. I cannot give you the why, but I know what we do in response to it. And the answer is: Everything we can,” Beshear said. “Today, we’re giving everyone that opportunity to help through the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.”
Other efforts are underway to raise money and awareness for relief. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky said it was accepting donations through its Appalachian Crisis Aid fund as it determined the best ways to respond to the flooding. A Letcher County Flood Relief Amazon Wishlist has been compiled by Appalshop staff and eKy Mutual Aid, allowing you to directly purchase and ship items to where they are needed.
New Frontier, an Applachian-centric clothing brand located in Morehead, is selling an “Eastern Kentucky Strong” t-shirt with all proceeds going to help victims of the flood. The relief effort is in partnership with the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
Donation drop off locations have been set up in Letcher County and Floyd County. They are asking for donations of bottled water, diapers, baby food, toiletries, cleaning supplies and clothes.
For a fuller list of shelter locations, addresses to the donation drop off locations and more information, Appalshop is constantly updating their page with more resources.
Louisville Bats jersey auction
Kentucky's own Jack Harlow has teamed up with the Louisville Bats to raise money for the Team Eastern KY Flood Relief Fund. Bidding opened this week for a Louisville Bats jersey signed by the rising hip hop star. All proceeds will benefit the relief fund.
Flood shelters have also opened at the Breathitt County Courthouse, 1137 Main St., and the First Presbyterian Church in Hazard, 160 Broadway St. The Kentucky Region of the American Red Cross has also opened a shelter in Hazard. The number for the Hazard office is 606-629-3344.
The Floyd County Community Center (7199 KY-80) is open and available for those seeking shelter in Floyd County. In Pike County, Valley Elementary School (163 Douglas Pkwy.), East Kentucky Dream Center (free meal at 127 Hibbard St., free clothing at 1946 S. Mayo Trail) and New Beginnings Fellowship Church (116 Main St.) have been opened for shelter. In Knott County, the Hindmann Settlement School (51 Center St.) is also open for shelter.