Gov. Bevin declares state of emergency in wake of severe weather

03/04/2017 04:38 PM

After severe tornado-producing storms ripped across the state earlier this week, Gov. Matt Bevin declared a state of emergency on Friday.

The National Weather Service has said tornadoes hit Butler, Warren, Henry, Trigg, Graves and Breathitt counties, with several more in the storm’s path reporting straight-line-wind and hail damage.

Bevin’s executive order lasts at least 30 days and protects against price gouging as residents look to repair any damage from the storm.

The Governor’s Office says more than three dozen counties have reported damage to Kentucky Emergency Management. The state can seek a formal emergency declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a news release.

“Communities throughout Kentucky were affected by this week’s severe storms,” Bevin said in a statement.

“This official declaration gives our emergency management personnel the resources they need to proactively respond to local needs. We sincerely appreciate their hard work and the dedication of all our first responders and local officials this week.”

With a state of emergency in place, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is asking Kentuckians to report any instances of price gouging to his office at 888-432-9257 or consumerprotection@ky.gov.

“My office and all of its resources stand ready to investigate and even prosecute cases of identifiable predatory pricing now that the governor has implemented the price gouging laws to help protect Kentucky consumers,” Beshear said in a statement. “During this time of crisis, we are asking Kentuckians to be cautious when purchasing goods and services.”

In a news release, Beshear said residents should watch out for prospective contractors or lenders who demand cash payment up front before starting work, don’t have a physical business address, decline to show identification or ask consumers to sign paperwork without reading, borrow money for the repairs or disclose personal financial information to accelerate payment.

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