FEMA tours Middlesboro flood damage

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

FEMA officials tour parts of Middlesboro ravaged by flash flooding earlier in the week. Representatives spent most of the day in the area surveying the damage, but they are not saying whether or not federal money will be coming.

Homeowners are hopeful they will be qualified for federal help, in the wake of the city's worst flood in years.

Creeks along Blakeman Drive are back to their normal levels. But there's still lots of work left to be done to clear all the mud.

"My church family has been terrific to all of us. Everybody has just pulled together to help us all," said Vickie Allen of Middlesboro.

Allen was one of the many flooded-out homeowners in the city to talk with FEMA representatives on Friday.

"If you're a victim, no matter how small your losses are, you're just as stressed as those who lost all their belongings," said Mike Wade, with FEMA.

Federal crews spent the day performing preliminary assessments, taking notes on all the damage that was done.

"If it's not a qualifying disaster, I can't imagine it being any worse for us right here right now," said Allen.

People like Allen hope they will get some federal help, but that is not a done deal.

"There's no guarantee that there will be a federal declaration. We don't want to raise that level of expectation that there is going to be one," said said Wade.

FEMA teams will combine their latest reports with those of local and state officials.

The state of Kentucky will compile a damage report that will make its way to Governor Steve Beshear's office.

If certain financial thresholds are met, the governor can file a federal disaster declaration that would go to Washington, D.C. for approval.

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