By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Carter County fiscal court were already scheduled to meet in special session on Monday when judge executive Mike Malone fired off a 7 a.m. email to Jim Henderson, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo), asking for any information on the needs of counties impacted by flooding in the southeast portion of the state.
“We have an emergency meeting this evening, and will be surplussing two single axle dumps and possibly other equipment,” Malone wrote. “I am going to ask to court to let a county up there use them until they get straightened up. We can get them to any who need them.”
Henderson wrote back saying there was still a great need for debris removal, bridge and road repair, and general supply needs, with the hardest hit counties being Knott, Perry, and Letcher.
“If you want to offer up the dump trucks I’d say any of those three counties would take them,” Henderson wrote.
Malone shared that information and the suggestion with fiscal court during a work session prior to the special meeting, noting that Letcher county had lost all of their road department equipment.
The court moved to make the trucks – two 2018 single axle Kenworth dump trucks – available to the counties in question for 90 days, subject to extension if necessary.
Malone noted they had a long road ahead of them, not only in cleaning up but in navigating the FEMA process to recoup the cost of that cleanup, and that the prayers of Carter County were with them.
Magistrate Morris Shearer also noted that he would be taking down a school bus loaded with supplies on Thursday. Anyone wishing to contribute can drop off supplies through Wednesday (today) at the West Carter school bus garage, the Carter County school board office, or the Oak Grove Church of Christ.
Emergency Management director Adam Stapleton related his experiences to the court as part of a six person rescue team that took down two boats to help with rescue efforts. Stapleton said after being activated that morning a mixed group of emergency personnel from Carter and Boyd Counties responded first to Hazard before being dispatched to Whitesburg where they rescued seven people and directed another 30 to shelter and resources.
Stapleton said they were dispatched to rescue one person, but as they encountered more needy people along the way they took on as many as they could fit. They noted the locations of stranded people they couldn’t fit, and directed other rescuers to those still stranded. As waters began to recede, and people were able to get out on their own, Stapleton and his crew directed them to help, including food, resources, and shelter.
In other action the court moved to accept a vehicle proposal from Don Franklin Automotive, to supply ten vehicle to the sheriff’s department, moved to purchase a 2020 Ram Bighorn for emergency management, at a cost of $59,000 with trade-in, and approved a promotion to operator for Jim Travis, in the road department.
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