Gov. Beshear Requests Aid for Kentucky Farm Families, Acts to Expedite Supplies to Flood Damaged Communities

Gov. Requests USDA Disaster Declaration, lifts restrictions on motor vehicles engaged in flood relief efforts
FRANKFORT, Ky.(April 29, 2011) – Gov. Steve Beshear today requested on behalf of Kentucky’s farm families a disaster declaration from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred, starting the week of April 17.
“Reports indicate that Kentucky farmers have significant losses of crops and infrastructure, and the conditions have critically impacted spring plantings.” said Gov. Beshear. “The severe storms and flooding have significantly impacted Kentucky’s farms and assistance from the USDA is critical and necessary to offset resulting income losses.”
The following request is due to severe storms and flooding conditions beginning the week of April 17 for the following counties:
Ballard                          Graves                         Marion
Breckinridge                 Hancock                      Marshall
Caldwell                       Henderson                    McCracken
Carlisle                         Hickman                       McLean
Crittenden                    Hopkins                        Muhlenberg
Daviess                        Livingston                     Union
Fulton                           Lyon                            Webster
The widespread effects of the flooding continue to impact Kentuckians across the Commonwealth, as rivers that have not yet crested continue to rise.  The Governor’s written request is the necessary first step to initiate the process for a Secretarial Disaster Designation.  This designation is necessary for several USDA disaster assistance programs to become available to farmers across the Commonwealth.
Additional counties may be added to the request at a later date if conditions warrant.
Information about USDA Disaster Assistance Programs and the Secretarial Disaster Designation process are available at www.fsa.usda.gov by clicking on the Disaster Assistance Program link in the left-hand column.
In addition, Gov. Steve Beshear today directed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to temporarily suspend certain regulatory restrictions on motor carriers and utility vehicles engaged in Kentucky’s flood relief effort.
“My administration will do whatever it takes to help our citizens recover from this disaster as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our action will help expedite the delivery of critically needed supplies and emergency services to communities that have been stricken.”
At the Governor’s direction, Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock today issued an order temporarily lifting some restrictions on commercial vehicles delivering food, water, medicine and other critical supplies. The order also applies to vehicles engaged in restoration of public utilities, including waste disposal, and debris removal.
Under the order, which is effective until May 15, drivers can be exempted from maximum driving times and from the requirement to stop at weigh stations. In addition, the order authorizes the Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Vehicle Regulation to waive size and weight restrictions when appropriate. However, to ensure the safety of the traveling public, carriers must obtain all necessary permits and comply with all other safety requirements.
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