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Damage assessments ongoing after flood, ice storms

FEMA is in the state assessing damages from the recent flooding, with the governor reassuring communities that individual assistance will be available.

Photo from Cheyene Saylor

MAGOFFIN COUNTY – FEMA is in the state assessing damages from the recent flooding, with the governor reassuring communities that individual assistance will be available.

Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman said his office has 75 Magoffin homes documented as having some type of flood damage and another 30 homes they are still in the process of assessing.

While in the aftermath of the 2019 flood individual assistance from the federal government was not requested by the state, Wireman said that Governor Andy Beshear assured local officials in a meeting last week that he is already in talks with President Joe Biden, noting that process will probably take at least 30 days.

“I think that since the last time when we couldn’t get anything, a lot of folks got out there and got the majority of it cleaned up on their own already,” Wireman said.

Right now, bottles of water, donated by the Paintsville Walmart, are available at the Salyersville Fire Department.

Cleaning supplies are available by contacting the judge’s office and Wireman said they are hoping to be able to offer household items, cleaning supplies, diapers, etc., soon, with a shipment expected through the local Church of Christ. For any information about the resources available, people can call the judge’s office at 606-349-2313 or the Water Into Wine Food Pantry (out of Lakefront Church of God and offering food, clothing, household items, etc.) at 606-349-6301.

Wireman said they also have a group of people coming later this week to help with the cleanup and construction work related to flood damages, with the group staying with Water Into Wine while they are here.

The judge’s office is prioritizing the damage assessments, the tree removal and cleanup from the ice storm, as well as the roads, bridges and culverts needing repairs after the series of ice storms and flooding hit the county and region historically hard.

“As far as we know, we’ve got everything open, but we’ve got to go back through and make the fixes more permanent,” Wireman said. “We’re still putting totals together for the ice storm and the flooding and it’s just going to be a process.”

As for the city, Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd said they are estimating their damages at the $100,000 range, but they have reopened the Ramey Memorial Park for the walking track. He said the playgrounds and ballfields will be closed for at least another week, but they are chipping away at the repairs needed after the flooding.

While Magoffin Countians have proved time and time, again, to be very resilient, Wireman urged everyone affected by the recent flooding to call the judge’s office at 606-349-2313 and let them know their needs.

“We need to know what everyone needs so we know what to ask for,” Wireman explained.


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