Even as Mercer County prepares to send off a first shipment of supplies, the flooded Appalachian communities of Eastern Kentucky were hit with more rain.
On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the death toll from the flooding had increased to 37 while hundreds of people remained unaccounted for five days after the area was engulfed by almost a foot of rain.
Nearly four more inches of rain fell Sunday, and the National Weather Service warned that slow-moving showers and thunderstorms could provoke more flash flooding through Tuesday morning. More than 12,000 utility customers remained without power. At least 300 people were staying in shelters, according to the Associated Press.
As news of the disaster began to pour out of Eastern Kentucky, relief efforts kicked into gear all over the commonwealth, including here in Mercer County. Donations were collected at the Whitaker Bank Mercer Fair And Horse Show.
According to Mercer County Judge-Executive Scott Moseley, Bluegrass Trucking plans to deliver the donated supplies this Friday.
“Bluegrass Trucking will be taking a second truck down once it is full,” Moseley said via Facebook Monday.
Moseley said Mercer County has offered assistance to the flooded communities, which are some of the poorest in the nation.
“I know they will need cleaning supplies so if anyone would like to donate mops, buckets, brooms, bleach, gloves and etc.,” Moseley said.
Supplies may be dropped off at the Mercer County Fiscal Court House (207 West Lexington Street) and at Ace Hardware (920 North College Street).
FEMA said they have opened mobile registration centers in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties to help survivors with applications for federal assistance and provide information about other disaster recovery resources. In addition, five search and rescue teams with water rescue capabilities have been deployed to Kentucky.
Eighteen tractor trailer truckloads of water and two truckloads of meals have been provided for flood survivors. With cell phone communications out, FEMA has also deployed five Mobile Communications Vehicles which provide secure and non-secure voice, video and data services for emergency response communications.
Gov. Beshear has established the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist those impacted by the flooding. All donations to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund are tax-deductible and donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes after donating. To donate, clink the highlighted link above.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is accepting donated goods in Frankfort, through Friday, Aug. 5, with bottled water, toiletries and non-perishable items taking top priority. Donations are accepted 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 105 Corporate Drive, Suite A. For more information, visit kyagr.com.
While shipments of supplies are good, even better are money donations, which can be put to use more effectively by victims and responders on the scene. Alongside the multiple GoFundMe campaigns to help individuals, families and communities in Eastern Kentucky, GoFundMe has set up a Summer Storms Relief Fund 2022 to donate to victims of the flooding in both St. Louis, Missouri, and Kentucky.
Other ways to help, courtesy of FEMA.
- Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation Flood Relief Fund is accepting cleaning supplies, non-perishable food and water at 2260 Executive Dr., Lexington. Donors can go to arh.org/floods.
- Franklin County Fiscal Court is accepting donations of bottled water, diapers, baby food and nonperishable food items, personal toiletries and cleaning supplies until August 3 at the Franklin County Fire Station 10, 106 Darby Shire Circle, Frankfort.
- Team Rubicon is performing muck-outs, chainsaw operations and debris removal. To volunteer or donate, visit teamrubiconusa.org.
- The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Horse Council are accepting water, toiletries and nonperishables at 105 Corporate Dr., Suite A in Frankfort until Friday, Aug. 5.
- Aspire Appalachia receives donations at email@example.com. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the July 2022 flood relief.
- Kentucky American Red Cross accepts online donations at redcross.org/local/kentucky.html. The organization suggests subscribing to redcross.org/apps to access useful information and tips on handling disasters and everyday occurrences. Red Cross can also assist in finding shelter.
- Save the Children accepts donations online at support.savethechildren.org.
- The Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Disaster Relief Program and Operation Sharing Program are organizing teams to strip buildings of ruined materials that may lead to black mold. Contact CAP at (606) 789-9791 or online at greatnonprofits.org.
- New Frontier Outfitters is partnering with the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky to raise funds by selling “Eastern Kentucky Strong” T-shirts for $20 on its website, newfrontierbrand.com.
Offers of Assistance
Whether it’s volunteering to clean up debris, donating goods and services, or providing shelter, if you are an individual or organization wishing to help in Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky Emergency Management has set up a portal to accept offers of assistance. Visit EKY Flooding Event – Offers of Assistance (arcgis.com) to sign up.