NewsCovering Kentucky


Community bands together to help clean up flood damage at Proud Mary BBQ, launch GoFundMe

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Mar 07, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Cleanup efforts continue around Kentucky after receding floodwaters reveal devastated homes and businesses.

At Proud Mary BBQ in Fayette County, neighbors are helping neighbors recover.

The restaurant sits on the bed of the Kentucky River.

Floodwaters reached the restaurant’s second floor during their highest level earlier in the week.

Now that the water levels have gone down, crews have started working to restore the building.

“The mud is six, eight inches deep. It’s a lot to clean up,” said Emilee Sierp, the restaurant’s owner. “There are probably forty people here and everybody’s got a job. Everybody has gloves and boots on.”

Sierp said she’s grateful to have so many helping hands ready to work.

“It's an emotional journey. Our life’s work is here and it's to see so many people that care and all these volunteers that are out here today helping, it's overwhelming. It's a great feeling,” she said.

FEMA agents are expected to arrive in Kentucky to survey flood damage this upcoming week.

“We do need help. Everybody devastated by this flood in Fayette County, Clark County, and Madison County, we all need help,” Sierp said.

While some volunteers are on the ground helping clean every square inch touched by water at Proud Mary BBQ, others are hoping to deliver assistance virtually.

A GoFundMe has been launched to help the restaurant survive. The donations will go directly to employees to help ensure they receive an income while Sierp works to reopen the restaurant.

Sierp said she hopes to get things in order enough to gradually reopen at least one floor of the restaurant, however, it will likely take more time before they can be back to full capacity.