WISE COUNTY EMERGENCY AGENCIES GO TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING TO SAY THAT THEY ARE A NECESSITY, NOT A BURDEN
Wise County emergency agencies made their case that they are a necessity, not a burden to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night. Fire departments from Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Norton, Sandy Ridge, St. Paul, and Wise and the Big Stone Gap and Norton Rescue Squad were represented at the meeting to express concerns about a letter from County Administrator Mike Hatfield on July 13. Hatfield had issued conditions for departments in the Wise County Fire and Rescue Association to meet by August 10 before receiving county funds. The agencies were to provide fiscal account balances and income reports, lists of outstanding checks and bills, individuals' payrolls and hours worked, numbers of volunteers, and call information, including type, en route times, and incident totals. The letter was in reference to requests by the departments for the county to increase their annual funding per agency from $28,000 to $50,000 annually. Hatfield said in the letter that the units are important, but put a financial burden on the county. He and the chair of the board, J.H. Rivers, apologized to the departments at the meeting on Tuesday. Hatfield added that he and the board were seeking more accountability in a situation where county money was being spent. The departments added that they do not have the accounting or administrative resources to meet the letter's requirements.
Abandoned land mine emergencies declared in Wise County. Recent heavy rainfall has caused two emergencies after problems with subsidence and drainage from historic coal mining operations. An underground mine subsided, causing a 15-foot-deep void close to two homes on Sunnydale Farm Road in Pound. A grant of $137,700 will help fill the void on Sunnydale Farm Road and stabilize the surrounding area. Concrete and gout will be used to fill the hole. The mine was active from 1950 to 1960. An access road to two homes on Bowser Hollow Road in Pound was washed out after erosion from a coal surface mine that operated in the 1970s. A crew is working to make the road accessible again and a $65,000 grant has been awarded to build drainage controls, add two culverts, and upgrade an existing ditch to better control erosion from the mine. Stone will be added along the streambank and the road will be graded and resurfaced, as well.
Pedestrian trying to help an injured driver seriously injured after crash in Wise County on Friday. Virginia State Police reports that a Jeep Grand Cherokee heading west on State Route 58A ran off the right side of the road, hit an embankment, overturned, and came to rest in the right lane at 10:21 p.m. Friday. While a pedestrian was helping the driver, a Jeep Renegade hit the overturned Cherokee causing the pedestrian to be thrown into the embankment as the Renegade overturned. Both drivers received minor injuries, while the pedestrian was seriously injured in the crash. The driver of the Renegade, Kristin Calton, of Pound, was charged with following too closely. The crash remains under investigation.
Man charged with possession of gun at football game in Richlands. The Richlands Police Department reports that 30-year-old Zachary Cochran was asked to leave a football game at the Ernie Hicks Stadium after a firearm was noticed on his hip. A wrecked Jeep, that matched the description of the one Cochran was seen leaving the stadium in, was also found on Jones Chapel Road near the school complex in Richlands. A male was seen running away from the scene and stated the subject appeared to be intoxicated and had a firearm on his person. Cochran was found in a Taco Bell parking lot and placed under arrest. He has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property, carrying a handgun in public while intoxicated, driving under the influence, and hit-and-run of unattended property. The RPD stated that there was never a time during the incident where it was considered an active shooter situation and no threats were ever made.
Boil water advisory issued for parts of Pound following water line break. The Wise County Public Service Authority has issued a boil water advisory Monday morning for customers in the Indian Creek and U.S. Route 23 areas of Pound. The areas where the advisory is issued includes Old Indian Creek Road, Indian Creek Road, Curtiss Hill, Killen Hollow, Almond Road, Laurel Ridge, Viking Road, and the U.S. Route 23 from the Indian Creek Road intersection to the Traveler's Motel. Bottled water is recommended for drinking during the advisory.
Floyd and Pike counties are now eligible for FEMA assistance after flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Individuals and households in Floyd and Pike counties can apply for FEMA Individual Assistance, which may include temporary housing assistance, basic home repairs, and certain other uninsured disaster-related needs. These counties join Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher, and Perry Counties, which were previously approved for Individual Assistance. Survivors in the designated counties can apply online at disasterassistance. gov, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. Floyd and Pike counties had previously been designated in the major disaster declaration authorizing Public Assistance emergency protective measures, including Direct Federal Assistance.
Five FEMA mobile registration centers are now open in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher, and Perry counties to help Kentucky flood survivors who experienced uninsured loss from the flooding that began on July 26. Flood survivors who live in those counties can go to any of the centers to get help applying for FEMA assistance.
Breathitt County: 421 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
Clay County: Clay Community Center, 311 Highway 638, Manchester, KY 40962
Knott County: Knott County Sportsplex, 450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn, KY 41831
Letcher County: Letcher County Recreation Center, 1505 Jenkins Road, Whitesburg, KY 41858
Perry County: Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive, Hazard, KY 41701
Hours for all the centers are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. FEMA representatives will be at the centers to help with applications for federal assistance and provide information about other disaster recovery resources. FEMA financial assistance may include money for temporary housing, basic home repairs or other uninsured, disaster-related needs such as childcare, transportation and medical, funeral, or dental expenses. It is not necessary to go to a mobile center to apply for FEMA assistance. Homeowners and renters in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher, and Perry counties can go online to disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-3362, or use the FEMA mobile app.