KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Beshear updated Kentuckians on a variety of topics, which included economic development and infrastructure improvements, as well as the state’s response to the flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

Eastern Kentucky flood update

Gov. Beshear said there are 40 confirmed deaths in five counties.

Kentucky Emergency Management has coordinated with the Kentucky State Police (KSP) Aviation Branch to conduct an aerial search for the two missing Breathitt County citizens: Vanessa Baker, a 60-year-old woman, and Nancy Cundiff, a 29-year-old woman – both from the Lost Creek community. If you have any information about either of these individuals, please contact KSP Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.

All drinking water systems are now operational; 22 systems were down immediately after the flooding.

Local organizations including state parks, churches and schools are providing shelter to survivors. Kentucky state parks are currently housing more than 338 people.

Flood survivors that qualify for FEMA are eligible for an additional $500. Much like the process for the Western Kentucky tornado relief, there is no application for this assistance. Data is being collected through FEMA, and eligible recipients will receive payment directly. So far, 6,507 checks are going out for this additional $500, totaling $3,253,500 in payments. The fund has paid for 40 funerals totaling $400,000. To date, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief fund has raised over $9.6 million from 37,060 donors. Donations can be made here.

Gas prices continue to decline

The Governor shared gas prices continue to decline in Kentucky. The average price for gas in Kentucky is almost 40 cents lower than the national average of $3.698 at $3.31, according to the American Automobile Association.

To see a full list of actions Gov. Beshear has taken to provide Kentuckian’s relief from high gas prices as well as tips to help families save, click here.

Public safety

At a time where more Americans are concerned about crime, the Governor said that Team Kentucky is working to put more law enforcement on the streets.

“From responding to crimes or safety concerns to stepping up following natural disasters or the pandemic, our officers are the brave heroes who are there for Kentuckians during their greatest times of need,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s essential we invest in them – because through those investments, we are investing in the safety of our families.”

So far the administration has:

  • Secured a $15,000 pay raise for Kentucky State Police troopers.
  • Increased training stipends.
  • Put enhanced benefits in place for retired KSP troopers and CVE officers to help make a career in law enforcement more desirable.
  • Invested in recruitment efforts.
  • Launched the Military to Law Enforcement Program, making it easier for local law enforcement to hire our military heroes looking to begin a career in law enforcement.

Team Kentucky All-Stars

In speaking of public safety, Gov. Beshear named the 75 law enforcement officers recently awarded at Kentucky State Police’s sworn awards ceremony as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. The ceremony is held every year to recognize troopers and officers for their acts of bravery and service.

He also recognized the five “Of the Year” recipients, who include:

  • 2021 Public Affairs Officer of the Year, Trooper Daniel Priddy.
  • Trooper of the Year, Trooper Elliott Young.
  • Detective of the Year, Detective Kyler Wright.
  • Commercial Vehicle Officer of the Year, Logan Lynch.
  • Facilities Security Officer of the Year, Officer Wayne Burke.

“There were 75 troopers and officers honored, making this year’s event one of the largest in recent years. This speaks volumes – because these honors are not given, they are earned,” Gov. Beshear said. “All 75 awardees should be commended. As well as the incredible families who stand with them. Together, they make unimaginable sacrifices for the safety of our commonwealth.”