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'Still have work to do': Cleanup in Breathitt County just beginning

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Posted at 12:03 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 09:34:49-04

BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The cleanup in Breathitt County continued Tuesday, as Governor Andy Beshear met with county leaders and first responders who have been working nonstop since last week's floods.

While he vowed that the rescue and recovery efforts will continue in the days ahead, he also warned people to be cautious of the extreme heat in the forecast.

"We gotta commit that we're not going to lose a single additional person because of that heat wave," Governor Beshear said.

At least eight people have died from the floods.

"It's really unbelievable," said Daniel Lawson. "It's really ruined a lot of peoples' lives around here."

LEX 18 met Lawson outside his home near downtown Jackson. Lawson and his neighbors were busy clearing their respective homes of muddied furniture and broken appliances. He believed there was little in his home that could be salvaged.

Asked about the initial floods, Lawson recounted helping his mother out of his home, as the water was rising.

"We just got garbage bags, got what we could, and headed to my father's," Lawson said.

While Lawson acknowledged the heat will be intense over the next couple of days, he doesn't anticipate slowing down.

"The reality of it is we still have work to do," Lawson said.

When asked about the heat, Governor Beshear said he does not believe it will hinder rescue and recovery efforts.

"We still have 7,500 power outages in this area," Beshear said. "And with the heat that is coming, it's really important that we work to get as many people their power back as possible. And then water."

Governor Beshear announced eight cooling centers would open in Eastern Kentucky to help those in flood-affected areas contend with the heat.

"We didn't make it through the worst flooding that we have ever seen in our lifetime to lose somebody to heat," Beshear said. "And it's going to be hot."

A cooling station in Breathitt County was established at the Breathitt Library.