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Volunteers help Jessamine County family recover after floods ravaged farmland

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Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 14, 2021

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Two weeks after heavy rainfall led to massive flooding across Kentucky, communities continue working to clean up the damage left behind.

Diane Meatyard and her sister have made progress clearing her farm in Jessamine County of debris since the water receded, but the aftermath is devastating.

“My farm is completely wiped out. My barn is ruined by the floodwaters,” Meatyard said. “I don't think anything quite prepares you for the magnitude of the devastation. It's kind of like going through a tornado and then walking out and seeing the debris.”

Meatyard said the flooding was traumatic. The horses in her paddock almost drowned when the flash flooding of the Kentucky River rose several feet into her property. She said a neighbor waded through chest-deep water to help them.

“He saved their lives,” Meatyard said.

The flood almost entirely submerged her barn, leaving the walls and ground covered in a thick layer of mud.

The flood also washed away some of her belongings and left all kinds of debris on her field, including old televisions and a refrigerator.

“It was so much stuff that the idea of even how to begin to clean up was paralyzing,” she said.

A team of volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived Sunday to offer help to Meatyard and those living on her street.

“We cleaned up a lot of trash in literal trees and shoved in bushes, and all of the disgusting stuff that has been around her house. I hope we’ve been able to get it back to normal,” said Herman Smith, one of the volunteers.

“I think that even beyond the physical things, the lifting and the cleaning, sometimes it can really help just to know that somebody is looking out for you, somebody cares, and they want to help,” said Stephanie Davis who also volunteered to offer relief to flood victims on Sunday.

Meatyard said seeing them on her farm gave her hope for the farm’s recovery.

“It's just so uplifting to be with people that want to help you. It gives you such a sense of community and hope and joy,” she said. "I'm blessed."

In addition to offering manpower for clean-up efforts, the Church of Jesus Christ has also delivered several truckloads of water, food, and cleaning supply donations to impacted counties.

You can request assistance with flood cleanup here or you can call 800-451-1954.