Catastrophic Flooding Overwhelms Eastern Kentucky

An exceptionally large rainfall that began on July 28 has resulted in historic levels of flooding in eastern Kentucky. As the rain began to subside last week, responders and residents started evaluating damage in the area. As of August 4, 37 people had died in the floods and hundreds remained unaccounted for, as affected counties worked to restore cell phone services and rescuers made their way to isolated communities cut off by floods or mudslides. The Red Cross has estimated that approximately 350 homes have been destroyed or suffered major damage across the region – a number sure to rise as response efforts continue.

NLIHC research indicates that more than 40% of renter households in the affected counties struggle with unaffordable housing cost burdens, spending over 30% of their household income on rent and utilities. Nearly one-third of the households in these counties struggle with severe housing cost burdens, spending more than 50% of household income on rent and utilities. The number of households facing such cost burdens will likely increase following the catastrophic floods.

The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) has been in contact with members from Kentucky and stands ready to assist with efforts to ensure an equitable and complete disaster housing recovery for those impacted. Those interested in directly supporting response efforts can access information from the Homeless & Housing Coalition of Kentucky here. Information compiled by the Kentucky Housing Corporation about assistance currently available for victims of the floods is available here. Likewise, the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a DHRC member, is operating a hotline to connect individuals with disabilities in impacted areas to assistance.