ARKANSAS CREEK – Though Floyd County was spared, comparatively, from flooding such as neighboring Johnson County endured, there was some damage in areas throughout sections of the county and officials are working to determine exactly where help may be needed.
Shortly after the flash flood on Monday and Tuesday of last week, it seemed Arkansas Creek near Martin was the hardest hit, but officials are planning due diligence.
During the monthly meeting of the Floyd County Fiscal Court Friday, Judge-Executive Ben Hale and county magistrates asked that the county be surveyed and reports be returned as to what areas may be in need of assistance.
Bobby Johnson, the county’s Emergency/911 Director, was fitted with the task of getting that report back to county officials, while at least one county official, District 4 Magistrate Ronnie Akers, said during Friday’s meetings that some from his district had contacted him about damages.
Ruby Samons, a resident of Arkansas Creek, the area arguably the hardest hit in the county, said her home has been greatly affected due to last week’s flash flooding.
“My house in sliding completely off the hill,” Samons said Monday. “There’s cracks in the ceiling and all along the walls.”
Though county officials will be working to assist residents like Samons, there has been a huge effort to lend a hand to Johnson County residents, who saw death and destruction perhaps not matched throughout the rest of the state.
Johnson County residents were still searching for missing loved ones a week after the flooding. The fourth person found dead came as recently as this past weekend when Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby notified authorities that his office had recovered the body of Scott Johnson. Johnson’s grandmother, Willa Mae Pennington, was also counted among those dead.
In addition to the loss of four of its residents, officials have also estimated that more than 150 homes were destroyed.
Since that time, Johnson County has seen an outpouring of volunteerism and aid from surrounding counties.
In Floyd County, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Highlands Regional Medical Center, and the Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad are just a few organizations and businesses lending a hand.
For those interested in helping, there are a number of options, including:
Call Red Cross toll free at 1-855-257-2700.
Johnson Central High School is a designated point for donations and distributions.
The Highland Church of Christ in Paintsville is donations at 606-789-6433 or Rick Vititoe at 606-791-6418.
The First Christian Church in Paintsville is taking clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies and non-perishable food. Contact them at (606) 789-4480 or Ann Ratliff at (606) 831-7102.
Encounter Missions is accepting donations of clothes and toiletries. Contact David Castle (606) 793-0321 or Beth Castle (606) 367-8737.
Sheldon Compton is a staff writer for The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.