Storm Damage Debris Could Affect Public Health

Environmental awareness encouraged during storm cleanup

With a statewide emergency declared by Gov.  Matt Bevin due to flooding in western parts of the state, it’s a good time to remind citizens the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP) can assist with information about storm cleanup.

Severe weather  struck parts of western Kentucky, and left thousands of residents without electricity. Heavy rains and harsh winds blew through the area on Wednesday, knocking down power lines and damaging buildings in the far western part of the state, including Paducah.

More than 15 inches of rain fell in parts of western Kentucky over the course of several days.

West Kentucky Rural Electric reported about 1,600 customers without power Thursday afternoon, while about 2,700 Jackson Purchase Energy customers had no power.

In situations where damage from floods and storms is widespread, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP) can assist with information about storm cleanup.

Managing storm debris improperly can potentially affect public health and create environmental concerns. The KYDEP maintains a fact sheet that will help Kentucky citizens understand the requirements associated with storm debris cleanup. The fact sheet can be found at  http://dca.ky.gov/DCA%20Resource%20Document%20Library/StormDebris070816.pdf.

If you have additional questions regarding storm debris management and disposal, contact the agency at 502-564-0323.

If the storm results in a release of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant or creates an environmental emergency, immediately call the Environmental Response Team (ERT) at 800-928-2380 or 502-564-2380.

ERT is part of the Kentucky Natural Disaster Plan and responds to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and other severe weather, earthquakes, forest fires, landslides and water shortages. During natural disasters, ERT is responsible for effective and efficient containment, mitigation and removal of hazardous material releases and works to limit environmental damage.

 

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