by Angela Hatton and Lisa Autry, Kentucky Public Radio
U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield is on a tour of western Kentucky counties affected by flooding and storms. The Congressman visited Calloway County this morning and spoke with Murray Mayor Bill Wells about severe damage from Monday night’s storms. Whitfield says they also spoke about federal grants for cleanup efforts.
“Times like this when the Governor’s making decisions about disaster areas and president Obama’s involved in that as well, I just want to be sure to touch base with the mayors, county judges, the emergency responders, just to see if there’s any way we can assist as they try to recuperate from all of this weather damage,” he says.
Whitfield plans to tour between 10 and 12 counties today in far western Kentucky. He says he’ll discuss the trip with Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul when he gets back to Washington.
Governor Steve Beshear says he’s anxious to see the damage around Murray and Paducah, but a fly-over will have to wait.
“The National Guard advised me to stay on the ground until this latest front passes,” he says. “And it probably won’t get out of here until late tonight or early tomorrow morning.”
Damage assessments are being conducted, but the total extent won’t be known until the waters recede. Beshear says he expects to ask for a presidential disaster declaration.