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AppHarvest CEO, Author tour areas of Breathitt County damaged by flooding

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 11:11 PM EST
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JACKSON, Ky. (WKYT) - Small puddles are all that’s left of the flood water that devastated communities across the commonwealth, reflecting back the piles of mud-covered furniture and ruined belongings that litter the ground near Riverside Christian School in Jackson.

“We lost pretty much all of the office furniture in the main offices through the classrooms, all the school material,” School Administrator Shane Neace said. “And, we lost three homes and three apartments.”

The inside of the school is in just as much disarray as the outside, with dirt covering every surface where feet of water stood less than a week prior.

It’s that destruction that brought the Founder and CEO of AppHarvest Jonathan Webb and author JD Vance to the area.

“It’s just trying to get a sense of what’s going on obviously so you can figure out what people really need, and it sounds like what people really need right now is money to help rebuild and also hands to help rebuild,” Vance said. “So, I think just understanding what the real need is a little bit, and I also think it’s important to see for yourself what actually happened here.”

They’re just the latest in efforts trying to support the community while it is still picking up the pieces.

“We’re going to try to direct some resources to this school and also to the broader community, but I mostly just want to figure out what we can do to help people rebuild a little bit,” Vance said. “What happened has happened, the question now is how do we rebuild.”

The school overcame flooding that Neace said was even more severe in 1984.

“It was probably two feet higher than it is now, than the damage you’ve seen now,” Neace said.

So, they’re rebuilding again proving their resiliency can’t be washed away.

“God really shines in a time like this and he shines through people, through the love and everybody helping out,” Neace said. “With all the volunteers and all the donations coming in, we will get it built back.”

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