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Church volunteers offer relief to homeowners overwhelmed by flood damage

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Posted at 6:58 PM, Mar 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 19:14:00-05

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Homeowners in eastern and central Kentucky are still working to clear the damage caused by a major flood in March.

In Clark County, Lee Cottrell lost almost everything in her house, which sits along the Kentucky River, to the flood.

“What a hellacious mess,” she said. “Some people have it worse. I’m not being shot. I’m not starving to death. But it’s hard to deal with.”

Cottrell’s home is built to survive floodings. The “basement” sits on ground level and helps elevate the main house by 12 feet.

When the Kentucky River crested, the water was 18 inches into the main house.

Cottrell and her pets had to be rescued by boat.

“[The water rose] just ridiculously quickly,” she said.

Cottrell lost her vehicles, furniture, and most of the items in her house to the floodwaters. Now that the water has receded, the mud left behind is several inches deep, and the warm temperatures from the past week combined with the wetness inside have created the perfect environment for mold to develop.

“Everything is going to be torn out,” she said. “They say out of chaos comes change, so I think this is the perfect recipe for that.”

Thankfully, she doesn’t have to clean up alone.

Teams of volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in hard-hit counties this weekend helping flood victims.

“I hope they see progress, but mostly I hope they know that there are people that care. Even if we can’t completely get a room, we can make progress, and we can talk about husbands and daughters and families and just let them know we care,” said Jennifer Barber, one of the volunteers with the church.

Cottrell said she’s thankful to have the help because it was originally supposed to be just her and her daughter dealing with the aftermath.

On Saturday, volunteers were able to make significant progress. They managed to clear furniture out of several rooms of the house, tear up wet carpeting, and put trash out to be picked up.

These volunteers are also assisting in flood relief in Fayette, Harrison, Lee, Magoffin, Morgan, Owsley, and Wolfe counties.

The Church is also offering relief in the form of donations. Several truckloads of cleaning supplies, food, and water are being delivered to Lee, Estill, Powell, and Owsley counties this weekend.

You can request assistance with flood cleanup here or you can call 800-451-1954.