PRESTONSBURG – Heavy rains and storms have hit Eastern Kentucky and Floyd County hard, leaving some residents stranded across creek beds because bridges are washed out while others were stranded behind debris following mudslides that blocked roadways. Water washed out several roads causing residents to get stranded. Shelia Tackett – on her way home from work – found herself stranded and unable to get to her home as the waters were covering the roadway and driveways. Residents stood helpless as the water destroyed the road in front of their homes.
All Floyd County road crews are working in their district to ensure the roads are safe for Floyd County citizens. Magistrate Randy Davis and the road crew in District 2 worked throughout the night clearing mud slides. District 2 had three mudslides for crews to battle – two at Triple S Holler and one mud slide at School House Holler.
Although the mudslides caused much trouble and stress for citizens, Floyd County Emergency Manager Bobby Johnson said he was not aware of any homes that had been flooded. Several residents had water in basements and crawlspaces but none in living spaces.
“We have confirmed four mudslides in the county.” Johnson said. “None of the mudslides are huge, however they have potential to become bigger and cause more problems. We are monitoring them as crews work to clear blocked roadways.”
“The storm damage was not widespread throughout the county,” said Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale. “Some of the hardest hit areas were Abbot Creek, Right Beaver, Cow Creek, Right Fork and Left Fork of Middle Creek, David and Spurlock. Districts 2 was where the majority of the storm damage occurred. On Monday night, a mudslide blocked the road at Triple S Hollow in David. County road crews worked diligently throughout the night to make the road passable so citizens living in that area would be able to get in and out to go to work, school, or wherever they needed to be. On Tuesday morning, we received another report of a mudslide in the Left Beaver area.”
Johnson went out Tuesday to inspect the damage in the various areas hit by the storms to determine if the Floyd County Fiscal Court will declare the county in a State of Emergency.
Dallas Allen, of Turkey Creek in Langley, was a Floyd County resident who watched the water as it slowly began to rise in his yard and eventually up his stairs to the front porch.
“We have been flooded three times. It is always devastating when something like this happens,” Allen said. “You work so hard to have a nice yard and nice things and in an instant you watch as it is covered in nasty smelly water that leaves behind the dirt and sand for us to wash off. It is a very stressful situation.”
Another area hit hard by the flood was Open Fork Road on Route 850 at David. Lisa Robinson and her husband watched as flood waters destroyed their front yard and wiped out the only bridge connecting their property to the roadway. All that remains is a drain pipe laying in the creek.
“This has really been devastating to our community,” Karen Davis, a neighbor, said. “People work hard and when flood damages private property that is something home owners must take responsibility for. This is not something many families plan for. A lot of residents in Floyd County live paycheck to paycheck. Having an emergency expense of this nature is devastating.”
“We are working at this time to make the roadways passable, which is our number one concern,” Hale said. “Crews are dealing with mudslides in four areas of the county. We are reacting and responding to ensure Floyd County roadways are safe for all of our residents.”
The weather forecast for the remainder of the week includes scattered showers with cooler temperatures in the 40s at times.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.