Beshear to Return to Western Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear plans to return Tuesday to far western Kentucky, for further assessment of the flooding situation. Beshear, who toured the area last week, says the lower Ohio River is expected to crest at 58 feet Friday, five feet higher than earlier projections.

“It’s very likely we’re going to have more flooding than we thought perhaps that we would have,” he says. And we’re in the process of moving more folks as well as materials down to assist local officials in any evacuations that we may have to do. We’re just trying to stay on top of the situation every moment.”

National Guard troops are already preparing to help evacuate the city of Ledbetter, in Livingston County. Upriver, partial evacuations in Smithland have also been ordered.  Beshear is already seeking a federal disaster declaration tied to recent storm and flood damage.

“We haven’t heard anything on our request for a presidential disaster declaration directly from the White House, but FEMA has already had people here on the ground, working with us to do the joint assessments necessary for the White House and them to approve our request for the declaration,” he says.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.