60 Moments: 1937/1957 Ohio & Big Sandy Floods

Great floods inundated our region every 20 years beginning in 1937 with the massive and deadly Ohio River Valley flood that gobbled towns like Huntington, Ashland and Portsmouth.

“The main concern was electricity because the power lines were still hot. We were taken away in these boats and you could reach up and touch them,” said one of the flood victims.

In 1957, mountain floods spread across four states, inundating scores of towns in southern Appalachia including Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

The old timers in the Big Sandy Valley tell a tale of a similar deluge that swallowed up much of the area from Hazard to Paintsville, Prestonsburg, Inez and Pikeville.

President Dwight Eisenhower called the 1957 flood as the worst in almost one hundred years.

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