Authorities take two more steps to help Kentucky storm victims

Authorities have taken two more steps to assist victims in Kentucky counties hit by recent severe storms.

Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order Wednesday prohibiting insurance companies from canceling policies or raising rates for people in counties hit by storms and tornadoes on Feb. 29 and March 2.

Under the governor's order, insurance coverage in all counties that were declared federal disaster areas will continue without cancellation or non-renewal until April 15. Any rate increases that were scheduled to become effective on or after Feb. 29 will be deferred until April.

Meanwhile, officials said Kentuckians who live or work in the 16 counties affected by the storms can apply for federal disaster food benefits March 16 through March 23.

The 16 eligible counties are Bath, Campbell, Carroll, Grant, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Pendleton, Rowan and Wolfe. Residents in those counties can apply for food assistance at their local Department of Community Based Services offices starting Friday.