Multiagency recovery center to open in Nicholas County to help flash survivors

Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 06:31:23-04

CARLISLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — A multiagency recovery center will open in Nicholas County to help residents impacted by a deadly flash flooding.

State agencies will be available to help homeowners and business owners with farm aid, insurance, consumer protection, housing, public health, economic development and small business recovery and environmental protection.

The recovery center will be located in the Nicholas County Elementary School gymnasium at 133 School Drive on Friday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Flash flooding on July 30 caused an estimate of $1.5 million in infrastructure damage.

It also damaged approximately 100 homes and 30 businesses, according to county officials.

“It’s just overwhelming. Everybody still has to be somewhat in shock,” said Carlisle Mayor Ronnie Clark.

The structure of Rosa Rangel’s house is standing, but barely anything inside survived.

“She’s trying to save a lot of things, but I’m telling her, ‘You just have to throw everything out and start new.’ But she doesn’t want to. She wants to hold onto a lot of things because of emotional attachment to all this stuff,” said Rangel’s daughter Blanca.

Rosa Rangel’s priority is in saving pictures of her husband, who died of cancer just over a week ago.

While Rangel is facing a huge loss of property, it’s nothing like what some of her neighbors experienced.

Several houses down Rangel’s road were lifted from their foundation by the force of the floodwaters.

Gary Beckett’s in-laws were inside their home when the flood started. They had to be rescued after the water level rose to reach their necks.

“I’m just very thankful that God watched over everybody and kept them safe,” Beckett said. “You can replace material things, but you can’t replace a life.”

Beckett said the home was condemned a day later.

There are approximately 80 condemned homes throughout the county, according to officials.

Some will be able to address the issues that led to the condemnation and get the declaration reversed, but many others will be forced to demolish their structures.

Beckett’s family is staying in a friend’s trailer until they can find new housing.

Clark said that raises a concern because there are not enough vacant houses or apartments to accommodate the number of families displaced by the flood.

“All I can do is ask them to please bear with us,” Clark said. “We have their best interests at heart and everyone is on a page that we want to help each and everybody that we can and hopefully make it better.”

Clark said the city and county are working on ways to provide temporary housing solutions while they wait to hear back from the federal government about possible aid.

Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in the county after surveying the damage on Tuesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct damage assessments in Nicholas County on Thursday.

Clark said, unfortunately, receiving federal disaster aid can be a slow process, but they’re working to do what they can in the meantime to help provide Nicholas County residents relief.