Some Kentuckians left dealing with trauma after devastating flooding destroys their homes

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:22 PM EDT
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NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It was just a week ago that many families’ lives were turned upside down by the flooding. Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

It’s undoubtedly a difficult and emotional time for families who have lost nearly everything, and some say they’re traumatized and shutter to think about the next rainstorm.

Driving around Carlisle, you see the devastation from deadly flash flooding. Homes pushed off their foundation, precious belongings piled up on the curb. But what you can’t see is the trauma many are feeling inside.

“We go to the lake every weekend. I don’t know how the water is going to have an effect on us,” flood victim Marty Day said.

Earlier this week, Day told us about the frightful night as water rushed into his home. He also opened up about the trigger hearing rain again may cause him.

“I don’t know how we’ll react when a big storm comes through. We were asleep when this happened. We very well could have been like the lady that lost her life,” Day said.

Day isn’t alone with those feelings, and it’s completely normal. Katherine Middleton with Lionheart Trauma Support Services says while the timing doesn’t exactly define it as PTSD yet, the symptoms are very similar.

“It’s definitely normal to have an immediate response to the traumatic event. And each of us are going to process and deal with it differently,” Middleton said.

For some it can be an immediate reaction—trouble sleeping, flashbacks to that night. Others may have delayed reactions because they’re still in survival mode.

“They think they’re doing fine because they’re not necessarily having the PTSD symptoms that we talked about, but six months from now when life starts to kind of normalize back, and they’ve got a rhythm, all of a sudden they’re not sleeping, and all of a sudden a thunderstorm is keeping them up all night,” Middleton said.

Middleton said there’s nothing wrong with seeking treatment, but what’s important is you don’t let emotions bottle up.

For symptoms to technically be considered PTSD, Middleton says you’d have to experience them for 30 days.

Lionheart is based in Lexington, but they can help you find counseling closer to you if needed. You can call or text 859-447-0855 to get in touch with a representative.

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