Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, this week people all across Kentucky are dealing with the effects of a massive snow and ice storm that ravaged the entire Commonwealth on Tuesday. This storm has caused the worst power outage in Kentucky history--more than 600,000 are without power.
This number is all the more devastating given that the previous record had been set only 4 months ago when the remnants of Hurricane Ike battered Kentucky last fall.
The power outages cover the entire Bluegrass State and have caused enormous problems, as you can imagine. Many schools and businesses are closed. Many roads are blocked from downed trees or power lines. Most dangerous of all, some people are unable to heat their homes in this time of freezing temperatures.
Given the severity of the storm, the Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, rightly reached out to President Obama to request a Federal declaration that a major emergency exists. I also contacted the President to ask that he respond quickly to the Governor's request.
I am pleased to say that the President did respond quickly and declared a Federal emergency in most of Kentucky. Doing that has triggered the release of urgently needed Federal authority and funds that will give the people of my State the help they desperately need.
I want to thank the Governor for his quick and decisive action, as well as President Obama for his speedy response. It is making a real difference in the lives of Kentuckians as we speak.
Governor Beshear and his team have been working day and night to ensure all parts of the State are getting the relief they need. Our offices have been in close contact since the storm, and I am proud of the leadership he is demonstrating.
Most of all, I want to thank the many men and women across Kentucky who are working to aid their communities during this disaster.
From the police and firefighters, to the first responders, the power company employees, the shelters taking in those without power, and the people knocking on doors to check on their neighbors, everyone is pitching in to make sure Kentucky makes it through this storm.
And I am sure that we will. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to keep the citizens of Kentucky in their prayers during this difficult time.