Emergency management officials on high alert after Ky. flooding; more rain on the way

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Just one week after deadly flash floods in eastern Kentucky, more rain and potential flash flooding is headed toward the region.

“It’s been two steps forward, three steps back,” said Tim England, emergency management director in Boyd County.

Boyd County was spared from last weeks flooding, but they did see issues Sunday.

“It doesn’t take much,” England said. “We knew we were going to have some rain, but we didn’t know it was going to come down that fast, and so we ended up having some real flooding problems.”

He said some roads were closed and they performed a water rescue, just as they were returning from helping with flood clean up in Knott County.

England says they helped with water rescues and search and rescue efforts in flooded counties, just to see them hit yet again with flooding.

“A lot of the areas that we had just worked earlier that evening got flooded again,” England said.

The devastation reminding them how quickly water can rise and how powerful it is.

“It heightened our awareness that some of our remote areas which are our flood prone areas are very susceptible to that same type of flooding,” he said. “We have what we call hills, but down there they’re mountains. Those are very steep inclines the water comes off of them so fast. And when you get that amount of rain in a very narrow holler, it’s devastating.”

England says with the ground already saturated, they are tracking the National Weather Service in Jackson, Charleston, and Wilmington and checking creek and river levels.

“Our big thing right now is watching these next few days as we get repetitive rain,” England said.

He says they have spotters from emergency services across the county, as one area can get pounded with rain, and another barely have any at all.

“We rely on them to tell us, ‘hey, it’s up to the bridge here, it’s over the road on Rt. 854,’ ” England said.

Water equipment has been checked, and England says boats for water rescues are ready to go.

“They are pre-staged at locations that are EM assets to two of our areas that do not have boats themselves, and our flood-prone areas that possibly could be cut off from us, getting to them, so we go ahead and pre-position boats there,” England said.

England also warns people to not drive through water and says cars are typically the ones they have to save.

“A lot of those situations where we’ve encountered is the road is completely gone underneath that water. There’s nothing there, so they’re going to drop six or seven foot,” England said.

He also encourages people who live near creeks and streams to check them frequently, especially at night, and keep at least six days worth of water and non perishable food at your home.

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