03-07-2012

Governor, lieutenant governor to visit more tornado-ravaged areas

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson today are visiting additional storm-damaged areas hit by Friday’s tornadoes and severe storms.

Beshear will travel to Menifee, Morgan and Laurel counties, and Abramson will travel to Lawrence and Johnson counties.

This is the second time Kentucky’s top two state officials have surveyed storm-related areas. On Saturday, Beshear traveled to the cities of West Liberty, Salyersville and Piner. Abramson visited East Bernstadt in Laurel County on Saturday.

“The Lieutenant Governor and I are not going to rest until our people are taken care of,” Beshear said in a statement issued by his office. “Total recovery is going to take awhile because the destruction is so widespread. Whether it’s a place to stay, food to eat or water to drink, we are here to help Kentuckians get through this horrible time.”

Beshear Tuesday spoke for the second time in a week with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the devastation in Kentucky and the coordination of federal support.

Kentucky authorities continued aggressive efforts in storm-damaged communities on Tuesday, with emphasis being placed on assessing the extent of the destruction, Beshear said.

Damage assessment teams – including representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as state and local emergency management officials – are on the ground in several of the affected counties.

These assessments will continue for several days, Beshear said.

Getting a firm number on how many homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged to the point they are uninhabitable is critical information needed to help communities get assistance in rebuilding.

“I want to reassure our citizens that we are bringing every possible resource – federal, state and local – to bear on storm recovery,” Beshear said.