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Breathitt County couple loses home to flooding for the second time

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Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 14:20:37-04

BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Families across Eastern Kentucky woke up Thursday morning, if they even went to sleep, to panic and scrambling.

In Breathitt County so many people worked through the morning to get as much out of their homes as possible before flood waters rose to their roofs.

For Judy and Estill Butler, it was an overnight affair.

“Probably around 5 we started getting the animals out and put them in their carriers. We pulled out to the road and it went from the back of the fence to the car port.,” Judy Butler said.

A community turned quiet from people evacuating, searching for a new place to call home until the water recedes.

The flooding has led to many people needing to be rescued from their homes as dwellings were consumed by water and in some cases floated off their foundations.

The storms even caused some horses to break free from their property, injuring themselves out of fear.

Many people said they’ve never seen flooding like this before, but for the Butler’s, this disaster is a feeling of déjà vu.

This is the second time the couple has lost their home to flooding.

Judy Butler recalls not being worried about the water, until she was proven wrong.

“We had went to church that day. We got home and Estill said ‘I’m going to stay up all evening and night to watch the flood water.’ I didn’t think it would get that high but he said ‘you better pack a bag,’” Butler said.

“By the time we got out to the neighbors. It went from the back of the trailer to the car port. Identical to what it is now.”

Insurance was able to cover the costs the first time, but now, the financial future for the Butler’s is up in the air.

The couple chose to stay in their car until the water comes down because they can’t take their pets to a hotel.

They’re just hoping to be able to save some of their precious memories inside their home, the ones they can’t replace.

"It's very tough. It's more tough mentally because you can get back your clothes. You can buy clothes. It's the little things that you miss out on like your pictures. Things your Mom and Dad give you. That's what really hurts the most is when you can't get back things money can't buy,” Butler said.

"This rain is going to continue and we won't be the only ones to go through this."