FRANKFORT — (KT) Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency Saturday after many communities across the state experienced a variety of severe weather events last week, including heavy rain, hail and severe winds, as well as flooding, landslides and mudslides.

According to the Governor’s Office, they include Boyle, Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Owsley, Powell, and Wolfe counties, along with the cities of Manchester, McKee and Salyersville. 

Many counties that declared emergencies as a result of last summer’s floods were among those that experienced additional flooding last week.

 The state of emergency declaration is designed to help these communities access the state and federal resources needed to help them clean up and rebuild.

“Sadly, we are once again having to take action to support our communities and Kentucky families impacted by severe weather,” Beshear said. “Kentucky Emergency Management has been monitoring the events and working with counties impacted across the state to submit damage assessments. We anticipate that we will reach the threshold for a federal declaration, and we will request it at the right time.”

 As part of the declaration, the Governor also activated the state’s price-gouging laws, to protect families from grossly overpriced goods and services. With a state of emergency in place, Kentucky consumers can report price-gouging to the Attorney General’s office, who has the power to prosecute offenders under state law.

 “I know that those impacted by this secondary event could be struggling to cope with the emotional distress of compounding traumatic events,” Beshear said. “If you need help or someone to talk to, we want to encourage you to call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.”

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, year-round, confidential crisis counseling and emotional support resource for survivors, responders and anyone in the U.S./territories, who are struggling with distress or other mental health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster.