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Long rebuild ahead for families and businesses in Lee County

Posted at 6:59 PM, Mar 16, 2021

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Hundreds of people in Lee County are still sorting through their destroyed homes or shops trying to salvage what they can two weeks after a flood.

For 30 years, Clyde Silcox lived in a trailer home adjacent to downtown Beattyville with his wife. That changed in the middle of the night two weeks ago.

"It's 3:30, they come around knocking on doors saying you got three minutes. Grab whatever you can to get out," Silcox reflected.

With nothing but the clothes on their backs, they did escape. Four feet of water rose inside the home, which destroyed everything except for his grandson's bike and pictures on the wall.

Clyde Silcox.jpg
Clyde Silcox looks at photos that remain on the walls in his trailer in Lee County.

"The trailer will have to be torn down, and whatever is left in here will have to go out in the trash," said Silcox.

Silcox lives right behind Main Street, which two weeks ago today resembled a river. For the next several days, the road was bustling with business owners and volunteers cleaning up the wreckage. From a distance, things look clean and normal today until you walk closer and see that no one is inside.

"Right now, if you drive through Main Street, it's very sad. There's not a whole lot of activity going on right now," said Lee County EM Director Jon Allen.

Allen says 81 businesses and at least 90 homes were destroyed. Most were in the downtown area.

The county is thankful for the volunteers and the thousands of dollars in donations, but more is needed for a long rebuild.

"Drywall, OSB siding, insulation, those kind of things are what we need to get these places back into function," said Allen.

Silcox and his wife are staying in a motel right now thanks to the Red Cross. But come Friday, that guaranteed housing is gone and they have no idea where they're going to next. Allen says there's another ten families facing that similar reality.