Kentucky Seeking Federal Storm Aid

02.03.09 | FL News Team

As much of Kentucky continues to recover from one of its worst winter storms in recent memory, the state is asking for federal help. The Louisville "Courier-Journal" reports Governor Steve Beshear is asking President Obama to speed up federal aid.

Last week the president signed a federal emergency declaration that provides assistance for state expenses that are estimated to exceed 45-million-dollars. Yesterday, Beshear asked the president for a "major disaster" declaration and to have the federal government reimburse all of the recovery and cleanup costs during the first seven days of the storm's effects.

State Attorney General Jack Conway says 24 people lost their lives as a result of the storms and that more than 92 counties and 73 cities are affected by the governor's disaster declarations.

As of yesterday afternoon, there were still at least 50-thousand residents without power.  About 200-thousand customers were without electricity at the height of the storm outages.  Beshear calls it the biggest natural disaster that Kentucky has ever experienced in modern history.

The storm caused the largest power failure in state history, hitting the cities of  Paducah, Owensboro and Benton especially hard.