Breathitt Co. homeowners see inside home for the first time since devastating flooding

Families in eastern Kentucky are seeing their homes for the first time since flooding hit, and we’re getting a better idea of the damage done.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:01 PM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Families in eastern Kentucky are seeing their homes for the first time since flooding hit, and we’re getting a better idea of the damage done.

Clarence Reynolds and his wife stand in what’s left of their home on Court Street.

“Your hearts broke and when you leave you don’t want to come back. You don’t want to see it again. It just tears your heart out. You lost everything you worked for. It all went down the drain. It just hurts,” Reynolds said.

The whole block is helping each other remove what they can. Toys, clothes, furniture, all reduced to piles of trash on their front lawns.

“It didn’t hit us last time. Just this time. This was enough, wasn’t it?” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said they’re better off than their neighbor, whose home broke off its foundation. The cleanup process will be long.

“It’s all destroyed. Like that. The fireplace, and all that, is gone. The only thing I could save there is the fish tank. My little fishes,” Reynolds said.

While families survey the damage, others have come in to help across Jackson.

“We’ve seen it was, I think 180 total today. It was emergency medication refills. Medications they’ve lost. Burns, lacerations, wounds from being in the water. A couple dehydrations. We’ve just had a little bit of everything,” nurse practitioner Becky Watkins said.

On one side of a shopping center near downtown, Watkins and other nurse practitioners worked to take care of people’s medical needs. GP: Then on the other side is the Salvation Army, feeding thousands for free.

“When people come through to get some cleaning supplies, a meal, whatever it might be, they’re taking just the bare minimum. They want to make sure others in the community have something, as well. I think that really speaks to the spirit of eastern Kentucky,” said Kirby Easterling with the Salvation Army.

The nurses and the Salvation Army will all be at the shopping center near the Wendy’s again on Tuesday.

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