FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) – Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency for the City of Marion on June 18. The executive order came hours after the city requested help from the governor due to a water shortage.

“The number one priority of government is to keep our people safe,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today’s action of declaring a state of emergency for the City of Marion is intended to put into motion all the things we, the state, can do to help alleviate the situation and provide support. My administration is committed to helping the city and all of our Kentucky families who live there.”

The Kentucky Department of Emergency Management (KYEM) contacted Marion officials after hearing about the city having a pending water shortage. KYEM helped the city with the process of requesting state assistance and an emergency declaration.

State officials are expected to travel to Marion to discuss solutions with the city. Officials will begin putting in place a plan that will provide short- and long-term guidance to the city to make sure families have access to water.

The primary reservoir for Marion’s residents and businesses, Lake George, needed to be drained because of a levee failure. Limited rainfall and unseasonably warm weather have also been factors in causing the water shortage.

KYEM can begin to organize a response and relief activities because of the state of emergency declaration. Also, the Kentucky National Guard can mobilize the personnel and equipment that may be required.

The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) has been tasked with assisting the City of Marion and Crittenden County to stop all nonessential uses of water. The Finance and Administration Cabinet has been directed to provide assistance with resource management and to help with procurement or contracts necessary to deal with the water shortage.

Additional state agencies and cabinets can now act with the state of emergency in place.