Floyd County was among those designated as drought disaster counties this week, when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack added 68 more of Kentucky’s counties to a growing list.
The announcement came as a surprise to Floyd County Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall.
Marshall said he was unaware of the announcement, but he had suspected that the governor was planning to add some more counties to the list. Still, Marshall said he thought Floyd County had been lifted out of the drought by some recent heavy saturating rains.
“I don’t think we’ve been that greatly affected,” Marshall said.
Gov. Steve Beshear made the announcement this week, the second of the year, bringing the total to 116 of Kentucky’s counties which have been classified as drought disaster areas.
“We are pleased that Secretary Vilsack has issued this disaster designation for the benefit of additional farm families in Kentucky. While some areas have seen rain in recent weeks, it did not arrive in time to mitigate agricultural losses in these counties,” said Gov. Beshear. “The widespread impact this drought has had on the Commonwealth can be seen in that 97 percent of the state is covered by a disaster designation. I appreciate Sec. Vilsack’s continued support of our farm families.”
In a letter to the governor, Vilsack declared the additional 68 Kentucky counties as primary disaster areas due to losses which beginning April 1 and continuing on through the summer.
The other counties in the state listed as primary disaster areas include Adair, Allen, Anderson, Barren, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Bracken, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Clark, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Green, Greenup, Harrison, Hart, Jackson, Jefferson, Jessamine, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Mason, Menifee, Metcalfe, Montgomery, Nelson, Nicholas, Owen, Pendleton, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Scott, Shelby, Simpson, Spencer, Taylor, Trimble, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wolfe and Woodford.
Twenty two contiguous counties were also eligible for assistance. Those counties include Boyle, Breathitt, Butler, Casey, Clay, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Knott, Knox, LaRue, Lee, Letcher, Logan, McCreary, Martin, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Oldham, Owsley, Whitley.
The USDA has designated 1,792 counties as disaster areas—1,670 due to drought.