NewsCovering Kentucky


Letcher County community unites around each other

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Posted at 10:03 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 22:03:42-04

LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — There aren’t many words to describe how unexpected and devastating major flooding was in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

The small town of about 1800 saw flood waters reach levels they’d never seen before.

Two people have died and countless others are homeless.

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“Now we try to figure out how to get people a place to sleep that is safe and dry,” said State Representative Angie Hatton, who represents that area.

Hatton says housing will be their biggest challenge. While many are staying at local shelters, she says they’re hoping to get FEMA trailers soon.

Hatton says the way the community has really come together to rescue and help each other.

“We just figure we're gonna find a way to survive this and rebuild our beautiful little community come hell or high water,” said Hatton.

The exact number of people that have been displaced is not known yet.

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Community members joined business owners in cleaning their shops on Friday. They helped remove carpet, clear mud, and throw away trash.

Artist Lucy Hale says despite what happened she’s grateful for that community support.

“Just to see the people-complete strangers that I don’t know, I’ve never seen before cleaned out this back room, helped us pull up carpet,” Hale said emotionally. “It reinvigorates me on a day that's so awful.”

Her husband owns Roundabout Music. They had to throw thousands of records out. She also has an art space there that was also ruined.

One of the hardest hit places in the city is an area called “Upper Bottom”. Driving through on Friday, community members worked together to help homeowners clean.

Several homes had external damage, cars sat in water, and homes were mud-covered. Plenty of ruined furniture sat on the curbs waiting to be picked up and trashed.

An unknown number still does not have water or power.