Beshear: school flooding damages ‘probably’ over $100 million
As eastern Kentucky grapples with the aftermath of historic flash flooding, key infrastructure like schools, transportation, power and water systems will take a long time to rebuild.
Some schools are acting as emergency shelters in the wake of the disaster and many districts have already announced delayed starts to the school year. In a news conference, Gov. Andy Beshear said the cost of rebuilding and repairing school systems in the region will be massive.
“When looking at schools, there’s two things: there’s damage assessments and when school is going to start. But school damages are in the tens of millions, probably over $100 million.”
Beshear said just the school cleanup costs in Knott County, one of the areas hardest hit by flooding, was estimated at over $1 million.
“We’ve been talking to legislative leaders and we’re all committed to providing funding for our school system and working on a package like the SAFE Act in western Kentucky,” Beshear said.
The governor is considering calling a special legislative session to pass a relief package for flood impacted regions. He said he’s made significant progress discussing possible solutions with lawmakers.
“We’ve put together some drafts for review from the legislature. We had a good conversation today with area legislators if and when we have a special session. We’re working on what that would look like,” Beshear said.
Beshear said he is worried about soaring temperatures in eastern Kentucky and a “slight risk of heavy rainfall in a few days.” Cooling centers are open in six counties.
So far, 37 people are reported dead in the flooding and three are reported missing.