PARIS, Ky. (LEX 18) — We continue to spotlight the community of Paris where they thrive, but also have some of the issues in the area.
Rising up from a spring near Winchester, Stoner Creek winds its way for 87 miles across Clark and Bourbon counties. It passes through some of the most beautiful horse farms in the world. It's the water supply for Paris and 80% of Bourbon County. It's also a source of danger from flooding.
"Too often do we see a flood like this, but it's worth it to be down here. the big floods are usually in March, April, and May," said Pat Conley with Friends of Stoner Creek. "But we've had floods in every single month of the year in the last 50 years."
Estimates put about 170 buildings in potential danger from flooding in Paris. In 2009, the Friends of Stoner Creek installed a flood gauge and shared the data with the National Weather Service, who in turn provide them graphical warnings.
"It shows you how the water is coming up and what the crest is going to be according to the National Weather Service and after you live down here for a while you see how much rain has fallen and you have an idea of what's going to happen," said Mike Thorton with Friends of Stoner Creek.
It floods often enough they're used to it and prepared.
"I really don't worry about it. the house is built for it. we just move the stuff upstairs," said Thorton. "I have everything on wheels, roll it to the elevator and take it on up."
In the Stormtracker Weather Center, whenever there is heavy rain, Stoner Creek is usually one of the first places we see flooding happening, and of course, it's happening today. But when it's not flooding, Stoner Creek is truly a jewel cutting through the heart of Bourbon County.
One of the things missing from the banks of Stoner Creek is a bourbon distillery for its namesake county. A group wants to change that with the construction of a distillery on the old Stoner Creek country club property to boost bourbon tourism in Paris.
One of the things we know we need to do with tourism, and for youth and all recreation, is to increase the accessibility to the creek," said Conley. "Right now we don't have any public boat docks in Bourbon County. I'd like to see more kids frankly, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. We love Stoner Creek. We think it's one of the best-kept secrets right or wrong in Bourbon County."
Like so many place names in Kentucky, Stoner Creek's name came about as a different way to say it.
A contemporary of Daniel Boone, Michael Holtzsteiner came to Kentucky from Pennsylvania.
His pioneer peers decided that name was too much of a mouthful, so they said from now on your name is Stoner... and the rest is Bourbon County history.