National bill awards funding for flood research in eastern KY
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2024 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill last month, and a portion of the $58 billion set aside in the bill will go toward flood research in the Commonwealth.
Officials said $500,000 in funding from the bill will be used by the Army Corps of Engineers in order to study potential flood control solutions along the Kentucky River in the eastern part of the state.
Nate Moulder is the Plan Formulation Section Chief with the Corps. He said they will join forces with other organizations and groups in the area to compile the most relevant information.
“FEMA’s been active in the region, other federal partners,” he said. “So, we’ll want to understand what’s been going on with recovery up to this point and figure out how to work within that framework, as well as pull in our effort in this study to look at flood risk management in the basin, comprehensively.”
Back in 2022, the Corps received study authority for the project through the Water Resources Development Act, but the $500,000 recently passed down will allow them to eventually start conducting research.
Matt Schueler is the Chief of Civil Works in the Planning, Programs, and Project Management Branch of the Corps. He said the timeline and exact cost of a study like this one is hard to nail down but will likely take three years or more.
“On a study this large, when you’re talking 10 counties and it’s over 2600 square miles in area, it may end up taking a little bit longer and costing a little bit more than that,” Schueler said. “We haven’t really pinpointed exactly what the cost and the schedule will be.”
The Army Corps of Engineers is still looking for appropriate sponsors to cost share in the project, but once that is decided work can begin.