EKY Flood relief fund raises much less than WKY tornado fund

KENTUCKY (WKYT) – The Kentucky Department of Treasury last month canceled checks for thousands of dollars for tornado victims that were sent to people in northern Kentucky.

Governor Beshear was asked if the same could be done with the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.

The governor says because much less money has been donated to flood relief efforts, the state is unlikely to send as many checks to flood victims as this one.

A large part of the donated funds is already earmarked for long-term reconstruction.

In December 2021, Kentuckians and generous donors across the country answered the call for donations following deadly tornadoes in western Kentucky. Just seven months later, the same call to action following deadly flooding in eastern Kentucky.

“Following the devastating tornadoes in WKY, we opened the WKY Tornado Relief Fund and saw generosity from around the world. $52 million that we could not otherwise have spent to help these families,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

But just over $13 million was raised for flood relief — a difference of about $40 million.

“We know we will need approximately 3,000 homes that will either need significant repairs or rebuilding or relocation,” said Gerry Roll, CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.

For the past six months, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky has worked tirelessly to raise money beyond the flood relief fund, knowing that every penny given is vital to the recovery.

“Our job is to show people that we still have a long way to go,” Roll said. “Before this flood, we had a housing shortage. We will have a bigger crisis now and in the next decade.”

To date, the foundation alone has raised almost $10 million, with nearly every dollar raised being paid out as soon as it comes in.

“With the EKY Flood Relief Fund, all remaining funds will go toward long-term recovery,” Governor Beshear said. “Unfortunately, there are fewer dollars in this fund. We need more, so more has to be put right in upfront.”

The foundation says it will not give up the fight for the families who have lost so much and want to remain in the area they call home.

The foundation says it hopes the General Assembly will put more money into the housing fund for recovery efforts.

To donate to the Team Eastern Kentucky Relief Fund, click here.

To donate to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, click here.

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