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Massive effort underway to repair roads and bridges destroyed by EKY flood

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Posted at 6:05 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 18:15:16-04

BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reports that 27 state and county bridges are still impassible after July's flood.

"It is a total team effort to try to get these roads fixed and get the traffic moving again," KYTC District 10 spokesman, HB Elkins, said.

At one site in Breathitt County along KY 1110, Hinkle Environmental Services has been contracted to fix a 700-foot-long break in the road.

Foreman Donnie Hudson said his crew of 40 had been working 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

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"I've been in this business 30 years and I've seen just about every flood that's hit Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky," Hudson said. "This is one of the worst ones I've seen. This is a massive scale of work that's going to take place."

They are working hard because they know how critical the infrastructure is in Eastern Kentucky. In fact, Hudson said all crew members are from the region and 15 were impacted by the floods themselves.

"Some of those people only have one way in and one way out and they have to get to town for services," Elkins said.

Three KYTC districts have flood damage to roads and ridges. In District 10 alone, Elkins said it may take a year to get back where we were before the floods and he estimates it'll cost $10-12 million.

District 10 covers Perry and Breathitt County, among others.

There are also countless private bridges that need repair.

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Property owners will need to repair them. FEMA funds may be available to help.