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Lee County officials react to major disaster declaration

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT
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BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - As people in Lee County continue to deal with the effects of massive flooding, officials in the county said the recent disaster declaration would help tremendously.

Flooding in Lee County was the fourth-highest ever recorded. Now, nearly two months later, some businesses and homeowners are still trying to get their lives back to normal.

Debbie Dunaway, the owner of Beattyville Florist and Gifts, says they were closed for roughly three weeks as they ripped out the carpet and cleaned everything insides, but, thanks to the community’s help and many tireless days working, her shop is now back open.

“We just knew we had to work and get it done to where we could get back to work, you know because we had no other income,” Dunaway said.

Even while her shop is back open again, Dunaway says she still has to recover financially after losing so much.

President Joe Biden’s major disaster declaration opens up federal assistance to help people like Dunaway.

With FEMA’s aid, some people can get assistance with grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured loss, and other programs to help both individuals and businesses.

According to Jon Allen, Director of Lee County Emergency Management, this will greatly move their recovery and help show the community that they will rebuild.

“I think it’s very important that we show that we’re going to come back not only for the business owners but for the residents,” He said. “I mean, they need to see that it’s not an abandoned effort and that we’re making progress to our town back to the way that it was.”

Allen said anyone who had a disaster assessment done could apply for federal aid. Even if you didn’t have an assessment done, Emergency Management could always go back to help you out.

Anyone who wants to apply for federal aid can visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or call 1-800-621-3362.

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