‘We weren’t fully prepared for this one’: Wayland wades through water

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAYLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - The people of Wayland have been wading water since last week, after flooding poured through the area worse than they have witnessed in the last four decades.

Homeowners say it was quick and unexpected, taking over the homes near Mill Creek Road, hitting many businesses and roadways along its path.

“We prepared, but we weren’t fully prepared for this one,” said Beth Hall, whose parents’ home was flooded.

Some, like Butch Bentley, have lived in the area since well before the last flood. He said the water never fails to rise, but has not reached door-level of the surrounding homes- which are all built with block basements to keep them out of harm’s way.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said. “Some of the young kids out here, been here a year or two, and they lost everything. That one boy and girl has been here for two years. They said they ain’t coming back. I mean, they left for good. They carried their TV out and said, ‘we won’t be back.’”

Now, with some planning to move forward and others planning to move away, the community is just hoping for some dry days ahead, watching the water levels rise again Monday, covering roadways.

“But it’s a emotional rollercoaster. We might be laughing one minute and the next minute you’re sitting there crying because you’re coming across pictures and stuff that you never thought you would lose,” said Hall.

Hall said her parents’ house was hit hard, with the waters reaching further than anyone expected. But, she said, her family and little town was lucky.

“You see you know people’s whole lives laying in the front yard and you know you know these people worked really hard to get what they have,

For Preston Crase, the silver lining was also there. But he said seeing the community in shambles is hard, since it is already a hard-hit place. He hopes to see help and hope back in the area in the days to come.

“You know, there’s a lot of people going hungry. We’re in the middle of a food desert, long before they were floating down the creek in the refrigerator,” he said. “So it was really tough. It’s something that this area definitely didn’t need.”

As part of the efforts to meet needs, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office is set up in the Wayland Gym, offering supplies, accepting donations, and more for those in need. From food, to cooked meals, to a mobile laundry unit, those involved say anyone is welcome to take advantage of the resources available.

Volunteers and deputies are also working to help people in the community as they try to clean up.

“These guys are amazing. They’re running equipment, they’re moving things back and forth, they’re doing traffic control, they’re checking on people in houses, they’re wading through water,” said Floyd County Sheriff’s Office employee Misha Curnette. “Whatever you need them to do, these guys are doing.”

Businesses like Hillbilly Hibachi and neighbors from other communities also pitched in to help Monday, setting up shop to feed families.

The Osborne family, a local family with a desire to help, set up on the street with a grill, offering hot dogs and sandwiches to hungry passersby. The family did the same thing in Maytown last year, but said they never expected to be serving their neighbor like this again so soon.

“Some people out here have lost everything- even down to to a pair of toenail clippers,” said Jesse Osborne. “If it’s a hot meal or, like I said, a cold water, that can make a a better day for somebody or just a smile on their face? Man, that’s- to me- that’s one of the best feelings in the world. There’s nothing that can replace that.”

Copyright 2022 WYMT. All rights reserved.