By Arnold Wyrick & AP
WEST PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Slowly but surely the power is coming back on for folks in western Kentucky. To ensure that the progress continues, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stopped in Paducah on Tuesday to see the damage first-hand.
"I came to see where things stand right now," Napolitano said. "I came to see what else the governor needed. And I came to speak to the American Red Cross agencies and other organizations that are pulling together in this difficult time."
One of the first stops for the secretary in Kentucky was the FEMA van at the National Guard Armory in Paducah. Then she and Governor Steve Beshear headed out to survey the recovery efforts in McCracken County.
The Kentucky governor got some much needed financial help from Secretary Napolitano.
"It's an unusual step but FEMA is going to pick up 75 percent of the cost of our National Guard being activated. And we very much appreciate that it's going to help us a lot, particularly during these trying budget times," Governor Beshear said.
One of the other things Governor Beshear talked to Secretary Napolitano about was working on setting up better communications and a network of generators throughout the state to keep communities' water plants up and running in a disaster.
Kentucky officials have attributed 33 deaths to a winter storm that struck the state on Jan. 27. The number of electrical outages peaked at 769,000 at the height of the storm that dropped ice and snow across the state. That number has since dropped below 40,000.