Quick Takes

After flood anniversary, Beshear says $2 million will secure Floyd County rebuilding site

By: - July 27, 2023 5:23 pm

Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to the media on July 31 in Whitesburg after deadly flooding spread over much of the region. (Photo by Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

The day after the one-year anniversary of devastating floods in Eastern Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans to provide 34 single-family homes to house flood survivors.

Beshear said Thursday that $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds will be given to the county to acquire two vacant lots — a total of 34 acres — in Prestonsburg. The funds will be used to rehabilitate one home and build 33 new homes along Cliff Road and Old Cliff Road. No timeframe was given on how long the project will take to complete. 

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the lots are out of the flood plain. Kentuckians directly affected by 2021 and 2022 flood events in Floyd County will be housed in the homes. 

After the property is acquired, funding to help Floyd County build supportive infrastructure, such as water, sewer and roads, will be announced. The Mountain Housing Corporation will be the site constructor. 

“Housing remains the top priority as we continue rebuilding from the floods,” Beshear said in a statement. “We promised to be with Eastern Kentucky until every structure, home and life is rebuilt. We’re keeping that promise, and we’ll be back here soon with more updates on this project.”

Last summer, flooding killed 45 people across the region. Other “higher ground” sites have been announced in Talcum, which is near the Knott-Perry county line, as well as near downtown Hazard

Flooding began on July 26, 2022. Since then, residents, housing advocates and state officials have worked to secure permanent shelter for victims of the floods.  

Floyd County Judge/Executive Robbie Williams said in the press release that recovering from the floods “would take years” and added the county’s residents are “still standing, and we’re building a better future for our people.” 

“We celebrated a lot of good news today in Prestonsburg,” Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said in the press release. “We have more good news coming, and a lot of reasons to hope. We are grateful for these funds and will keep building a better future for our people.”

Beshear will travel to Eastern Kentucky again on Friday. While in Knott, Letcher and Perry counties, he will share more updates on initiatives to rehouse flooding victims.

Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is seeking to unseat Beshear in this year’s gubernatorial race, campaigned in the region Thursday. He had stops in Perry, Letcher, Harlan and Bell counties.

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.