Man gets sister out of home moments before it’s destroyed

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - One of the parts of our region hit hardest by flooding this week was the Blackberry community in Pike County.

Neighbors there are faced with a tough, long cleanup after a heavy downpour led to flooding Monday.

Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett tells WSAZ high water got into 60 homes and knocked away part of the parking lot at the Blackberry Fire Department. Water got up 12 to 18 inches in the station, leaving the floor caked with mud.

“It was just a blessing nobody lost any life during this,” County Commissioner Brian Booth said.

Monica Smith was in her home along Route 1056 as the rain was coming down Monday morning. Her brother Sean went to her house and told her he had a hunch it was time to get out.

“I just had a feeling something was gonna happen,” Sean said.

“We came over in waist-high water and got to his front porch,” Monica said.

They say about two minutes later, mud slid on the hill behind her house, knocking her home off its foundation. Bricks from the chimney collapsed, falling onto her car.

“The whole hillside came off and scooted my house into my front yard,” Monica said. “There’s a tree in my dining room -- well, what used to be my dining room.”

“It could’ve been a whole lot worse if I hadn’t gotten her out,” Sean said. “I’m just glad everybody is safe, everybody is alive.”

“My brother is a lifesaver,” Monica said. “The first thing I did was give him a hug and kiss him on the cheek. He was like, ‘I just knew something was going to happen.’”

Tackett says they were hoping for a federal emergency disaster declaration, but it doesn’t appear there was enough damage to cross the threshold.

“That’s disappointing it doesn’t look like there’s going to be help, because there are a lot of homes that have been damaged,” Booth said.

This was the second time the fire department has flooded since March. Tackett says they’re looking to relocate the station to a place where hopefully they won’t have to deal with this again.

Booth says they’re working on making plans to pick up residents’ debris and garbage. Crews are working to restore running water and power in the area.

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