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Beshear announces start of flood removal for "one of the most traumatic events of our lifetime"

Work will start on Saturday in Letcher County in waterways close to KY 317, KY 343 and KY 805.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Friday that crews will start removing debris from waterways in eastern Kentucky counties devastated by flooding

“Most of the debris left from the recent flood disaster ended up in local waterways," the governor said. "Getting it removed is a critically important step in helping an entire region recover from one of the most traumatic events of our lifetime."

AshBritt was awarded a contract to remove and dispose of land debris throughout the 13-counties that were declared a disaster area. 

They will also be clearing the waterways, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Division of Water. Both of which will be responsible for identifying debris piles. 

Large objects that present a potential hazard to bridges and other structures will be given priority. 

Work will start on Saturday in Letcher County in waterways close to KY 317, KY 343 and KY 805.

“Debris in our waterways poses health risks and also increases the risk of further flooding if the region gets more heavy rain,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said. “AshBritt will be deploying numerous crews for waterway cleanup, but it is likely to take several weeks to complete.”

He said that in many cases work crews will have to go through private property to reach the creek or stream. 

“We want residents to be aware of this, and appreciate their understanding and willingness to give crews room to work,” Gray said.

Traffic delays are expected as crews pass through areas. Motorists are asked to slow down and give heavy equipment room on the road. 

Residents are asked not to go through debris piles at collection sites due to safety hazards that present health and safety risks.

Residents may report debris that needs to be picked up on roadways and waterways by calling the Debris Hotline at 855-336-2337.

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