State senator: FEMA, feds need to step up after Kentucky floods

Mid-South

Water-damaged items sit outside a house in Squabble Creek, Kentucky, near Buckhorn, following historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky in July. (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Six months ago, several communities in Eastern Kentucky were practically wiped out because of heavy rain. Towns in and around the Appalachian Mountains became overwhelmed, with homes swept off their foundations, and many lives lost.

Republican state Sen. Johnnie Turner says the rebuilding process, which some have said could take years, will be costly and slow.

But the federal government, he argues, isn’t really helping.

“The federal government, (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) specifically, came there and did some initial looks at it and would offer people a few hundred dollars, when they knew that what destruction was done was going to cost thousands,” he said. “These are poor people, working people, a lot of them in their homes. … We just had so many inches of rain in a short time span that destroyed so many residences and killed a number of people.”

FEMA approved more than $80 million in relief for Kentucky flood victims. However, about 850 locals are still displaced. Residents say help hasn’t come fast enough for a community where nearly 17% of households live on less than $1,000 a month.

“It’s been disgraceful what FEMA has done, instead of stepping up to the plate and really taking care of these people that lost all their properties or homes,” Turner said. “It’s time for the federal government to really step up and do what they’re supposed to do to get this problem solved.”

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