Perry County Judge Executive Scott Alexander said this was the biggest natural disaster event to ever hit the area, and around 50 bridges were washed away or broken.
Beshear said water infrastructure, which is already a challenge in rural Kentucky, was also wiped out in certain areas.
With the entire water system shutdown and no access to running water, the governor said the most important thing people can donate and bring to the region is water.
Hazard Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini said this is the first time the water plant has been completely shut down since 1949.
In addition, the administration and local officials are working to get roads open, and places for people to stay. He said a major priority is to get Buckhorn State Park open, which could provide around 38 rooms for people to seek shelter.
More than 70 travel trailers the state purchased are also being brought over from Western Kentucky to provide housing. The first round was brought over and stationed in Jenny Wiley State Park in nearby Floyd County. These spaces are already full.
“The biggest thing right now is getting people stabilized,”he said. “We are still in an emergency situation. The next thing is to bring cleanup. But right now, it is meeting the very basic needs and making sure people’s relatives are okay around the area where we are worried about hundreds of people.
Most importantly, Beshear, the mayor and judge executive said they have seen an outpouring of love and support from not only those affected by the disaster, but Kentuckians across the state who have donated and offered help.
“Everything we face, the biggest thing – and the governor touched on it – is we are seeing neighbors helping neighbors, families coming to help other families to clean out and and trying to rebuild and even offering to stay with each other,” Alexander said.
He and Mobelini said they are receiving so much support, they are also working to organize volunteer efforts.
“Without you reaching out and helping a neighbor, there is no way we could get through this,” Alexander said.
Mobelini said they have to get efforts organized because they have more volunteers than they know what to do with right now.
“Within these next three or four days, we will work to come up with a plan,” Mobelini said. “We have tons of people wanting to volunteer and we need you, but we need to put you where you can work best to put this past us. None of this would be happening if everyone wasn’t helping take care of each other. That is what we do.”
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