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Water rescues needed after Kentucky River swells over Old Richmond Road

Posted at 1:11 PM, Mar 01, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A car became stuck and residents evacuated homes by rescue boats Monday as melted snow and ice, compounded with days of heavy rain, caused the Kentucky river to swell and cover Old Richmond Road in Lexington.

A Lexington resident who frequents Old Richmond Road said it was too dark Monday morning to see water on the road since there are no street lights. After his sedan stalled in about two feet of river water, Chris Duff had a moment of luck.

"A guy in a truck pulled up. I just climbed into his truck and we backed out. For the truck, it wasn't bad. It is just my car is low," he said.

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The pair left the sedan in the flooded road and Lexington firefighters soon showed up to help.

As he watched large debris float by including a pontoon boat, Lexington Fire Department Maj. Gerald Evans spoke about the pace of the water.

"It's too fast," he said. "Sometimes your car will actually lose traction and then get swept away. And then suddenly you're a hazardous--in a hazardous situation and nobody knows what's gonna happen."

Lexington firefighters were able to push Duff's car out of the water a couple of hours later and restart the engine before he drove off with soggy floorboards.

"We're concerned that the water level will continue to rise and at that point, we didn't want the car to float away," said Evans. "So, we're just gonna...close down the road and keep anything else from even coming down here and creating the same situation again."

Less than a mile down the river, Lexington firefighters checked on 11 homes to help residents evacuate since their homes were surrounded by four or five feet of water. Five of the homes were vacant. Residents in one of the homes waked out to dry land, residents in another home were evacuated by a rescue boat and residents in four of the homes chose not to evacuate.