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KY lawmakers get update on state and federal tornado relief efforts

Members of the Kentucky Senate State and Local Government Committee
Members of the Kentucky Senate State and Local Government Committee

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett says more than 13,000 citizens have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in connection with last month’s devastating tornadoes. Dossett was one of three state officials updating a Senate panel about relief efforts in western Kentucky. He said more than 2000 homes suffered damage. Dossett noted FEMA provides funding for rental homes, rental apartments, and travel trailers. “In many of our cities, there are no rental homes available. There are no apartments available. So, obviously, the choice will be to move forward with travel trailers,” said Dossett.

Dossett said $15 million dollars in state funds have been targeted toward the purchase of 200 trailers.

State Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said they may be placed together in some cases but also positioned on former housing locations. “Just an example couple of locations have been identified and again, I’m mentioning Mayfield, in Graves County. But, a couple of locations have been identified where we could place as many as 20, 30, or 40 campers,” explained Gray.

State Budget Director John Hicks asked lawmakers to include some flexibility for spending a larger portion of the $200 million outlined in House and Senate measures. Hicks said that might be necessary during the period when the General Assembly is not in session.

Henderson Senator Robby Mills said some local officials were seeking more clarity on who is their primary FEMA contact.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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