'Never seen anything like it': Flood shutters Estill County, closes Irvine's busiest road

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 18:53:59-05

IRVINE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Those who have lived in Irvine the longest say they don't recall a flood like the one now.

"Oh this is worse, yeah it's worse," said Tony Neal, talking about the flood of 1957 in Kentucky.

The 80-year-old explains his reasoning by looking at the Kentucky River which flowed over Highway 52 in Irvine, forcing officials to block off a large section of the road.

Estill County Sheriff Chris Flynn calls the flood of 2021 'historic.'

"I've never seen anything like this. By this morning, this road being shut down, this is the main interstate of the county. It has just shut everything down."

Traffic had to be rerouted all day Tuesday. Emergency management officials thought the river would crest at one in the afternoon, but as of 6 p.m., they say it was steadily rising. They anticipate it will crest late Tuesday evening.

In 24 hours, officials tell LEX 18 there have been 15 water rescues.

Over the next 24-hours, it's a waiting game as local authorities ask people to stay home and not drive through flood waters.