The office of U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers announced Wednesday that $200 million in federal funds will be coming to Eastern Kentucky to help with flood control projects, including $118 million for Johnson County.
The funds derive from the “Storm Supplemental Appropriations for Disasters 2018 Package,” a part of the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the $118 million in Johnson County for a detailed report and plan for flood mitigation, which could possibly involve the incorporation of a flood wall or levee.
“The people of Johnson County have long-awaited assistance for flood protection,” said Rogers in a statement. “This project will not only make Johnson County a safer place to live, but also has the potential to lower flood insurance rates and improve business opportunities in the City of Paintsville.”
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who also supported the budget in Congress, also voiced his support for the Johnson County plan.
“After a season of severe flooding, this funding is welcome news for Johnson County,” McConnell said. “This investment, which came from an agreement I negotiated, will help complete the flood control plan to assess how to best protect Kentuckians and the local economy. I look forward to working with the Army Corps to complete more important projects like this one that will benefit the people of Eastern Kentucky.”
Johnson County Judge-Executive R. T. “Tucker” Daniel said the county is the perfect candidate for assistance with flood control.
“It’s a wonderful thing. We see this in other places, and see it working,” Daniels said. “Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, Rep. Rogers and Sen. McConnell for sticking with this.”
Paintsville Mayor Bill Mike Runyon said the announcement will make a big difference.
“It was unexpected, but great news for Johnson County and the City of Paintsville,” Runyon said. “With the committee we have working the Community Rating System and our flood plan, I think it goes to show that the people at the top see the hard work we’re doing here.”
A timetable for the Johnson County flood control plan has yet to be announced.