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High water remains in Whitley County

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 18:21:46-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — The high water and destruction in Whitley County is recalling memories of the 1977 flood. But twenty years after that disaster, an investment was made that some are crediting with saving Williamsburg from a similar fate this round of flooding.

"Thank goodness we have a flood wall now, or else it would've been like this again," said Nannie Hays.

Emergency Management Director Danny Moses says he's been personally involved in several rescues to help people trapped in flooded cars or homes surrounded by water.

"We got close to 50, maybe 100. We still have to check a lot more," said Moses.

Just down the hill from his office, high water sits on baseball fields at Briar Creek Park.

"As you can see behind me, we've got a building that floated up, and we've got to find a way to try to get it down. There's picnic tables all over the place. Just a lot of clean-up to do right now," said Gary Barton, with Williamsburg Tourism.

The clean-up is just beginning in some areas.

"The '77 was the flood that was a little larger than this," said Hays.

Hays says her home flooded in 1977, and she remembers watching boats crossing a stream right through downtown Williamsburg.

"And I remember the clean-up afterwards. If anybody's ever been through a flood before, it's awful to clean up. It really is," said Hays.

"It would've put 2/3 of Williamsburg under water during this flood," said Barton.

Unfortunately, the wall doesn't protect some county areas, which still saw high levels of water. The hope is that there's enough time for the water to recede before the next storm hits.