79th Anniversary Of The Frozen Flood

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 17:13:28-04

(LEX 18) – Today marks the 79th anniversary of one of Kentucky’s worst tragedies when more than 70 people died in a historic flood. 

On this day in 1939, the Frozen River was anything but gentle.  The National Weather Service says up to 12 inches of rain fell within a few hours. 79 people died across Kentucky, with more than fifty of those fatalities in Breathitt County .

Witnesses described a 20 foot wall of water tumbling through the area.

"Everything that it touched was wiped away – lives, homes, family, everything," Stephen Bowling told LEX 18.

In that wall of water were bodies, people trying to swim, logs, cattle and livestock.

All that remains is a tiny sign, the only marker in this entire county telling people what happened. If it weren’t for the marker, no one would know anything ever happened. The only other sign referencing the Frozen flood is in Morehead.