Southeast Kentucky Counties Brace for Round Two of Flooding

Feb 11, 2020

Credit Kentucky Division of Emergency Management

Emergency crews in Kentucky are monitoring continued rainfall that poses the risk for a second round of flooding in some counties. 

Many homes were damaged and several people had to be rescued from their vehicles last week in some of the worst flooding to hit the region in decades.  Michael Dossett, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, says the flooding rivals the historic 1977 flood that resulted in ten deaths in eastern Kentucky.  A 74-year-old man from Whitley County who was reported missing last week was found dead in his submerged car on Monday night.

Eight counties in southeast Kentucky are under a state of emergency.

"That allows me as the statewide director to bring to bear resources from all cabinets," Dossett said. "Everything’s on the table whether it be commodities, National Guard assistance, transportation assistance, health department assistance. It runs the entire gamut.”

The counties in the impact area are Whitley, Knox, Bell, Clay, Leslie, Harlan, Perry, and Letcher.

Wednesday is expected to pose the worst threat, with up to five inches of rain in that eight-county region. 

Residents are urged to avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.  Just six inches of moving water can sweep a person off their feet and a foot of moving water can sweep a vehicle away.