FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday signed an executive order directing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to expedite the transport of emergency supplies to Kentucky counties struggling with drought. Ninety counties – 75 percent of the state’s counties – are classified as suffering moderate to severe drought conditions.
The executive order directs the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to waive special registration and permit requirements for vehicles carrying relief supplies such as water, livestock forage and hay to stricken areas, according to a news release from the governor's office.
Under the order, the response vehicles do not have to pay permit fees for oversized/overweight vehicles. The Transportation Cabinet will also waive certain size and weight restrictions as they determine to be appropriate to meet the needs of the agricultural community. In order to ensure the safety of the traveling public and its infrastructure, the carrier must obtain all necessary permits for route verification.
“Having responded to a series of weather disasters as Governor, I know that quick and decisive action is absolutely critical to recovery efforts,” Beshear said in a statement issued by his office. “Our farmers need all the help they can get to fight the affects of this drought, and we will continue to assist them in whatever way we can.”
Drought-related conditions in Kentucky began in March, with abnormally high temperatures and lower than normal rainfall, and those conditions have continued this summer. Sixty-six Kentucky counties are now classified under Level 1 drought, with moderate to severe drought conditions, while 24 counties in the west are under the more-severe Level 2 classification.