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Damage from Pike flood expected to reach $10 million

Stephanie Bentley of the Pike County Health Department gave Steve Thacker a tetanus shot Tuesday in Marrowbone. Thacker said his truck was destroyed on Harless Creek, where his parents live. Damage assessments and clean-up from Saturday's flash flood continued Tuesday.
Stephanie Bentley of the Pike County Health Department gave Steve Thacker a tetanus shot Tuesday in Marrowbone. Thacker said his truck was destroyed on Harless Creek, where his parents live. Damage assessments and clean-up from Saturday's flash flood continued Tuesday.

PIKEVILLE — Federal disaster inspectors are nearly finished with work in Pike County, and damages are expected to reach $10 million, county officials said Thursday.

Gov. Steve Beshear requested a disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday, his office said in a news release. Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said the damage estimate is currently at $8.6 million, but he expects a final estimate of damage to private and public property to reach $10 million.

Flash floods on Saturday night killed two people and ripped up homes, roads and utility infrastructure. As much as eight inches of rain fell in some areas of central Pike County.

Joint assessment teams of local, state and federal officials worked over the past few days to see whether damage would reach the threshold of $5.2 million to declare a federal disaster. Some of those federal officials have now moved to joint teams assessing Shelby County, which was hit hard by the same storm on Saturday, Kentucky Division of Emergency Management spokesman Buddy Rogers said.

Pike County's damages total "a huge amount for a single county," Rogers said.

After flooding in May 2009, various public agencies in Pike County, including the school district, fiscal court, city of Pikeville and Mountain Water District, received nearly $8.5 million in reimbursements from FEMA, according to data provided by the state Division of Emergency Management.

FEMA assistance to individuals in Pike County, after flooding in 2009, totaled $6.2 million to 2,181 applicants.

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