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State of emergency declared in Johnson County as flooding hits Appalachia

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:05 PM EST
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - As the people of Eastern Kentucky recover from two ice storms hitting the region, they are now in shock as flooding hits counties throughout the mountains.

“I work at Paul Hall Regional Medical Center and as I looked out…was rising which is on the lower side of our parking lot,” said Paintsville Native Johnny Hager.

On Monday, a state of emergency has been issued in the county due to the dangerous conditions and city officials have plans to send in the national guard for assistance.

“This will help us with transport of individuals from high water situations. Plus they will also be providing transportation for individuals and supplies to them if need be,” said Johnson County Judge Executive Mark Mckenzie.

For Paintsville Native Mike Adams, he and his family are stuck inside. Water surrounds not only their home, but their neighborhood.

“Well I’ve not left here, around my house. It’s in everybody’s house that I can see and then the houses across the street from me and this area down in here on street and it’s really hit hard here,” he said.

And for high school student Zach Cline, he is in a media class taking photos of the current conditions. By taking photos, he wants to inform people that flooding is dangerous and should be taken seriously.

“Just to show that, don’t try to drive over high waters and just get them out there for people to see how roads are bad,” he said.

That’s why staying informed as conditions change is important and can ultimately save lives.

“While there’s some nervousness out there, if we individuals can stay home until the water recedes and the roads are passable, then that would be the safest place to be,” said Mckenzie.

City officials say they are currently able to address most problems people are currently facing and have two shelters on stand-by, in case they need to open them. However, Mckenzie says people should stay alert for changing conditions.

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