‘It’s going to be a marathon:’ Breathitt Countians working to rebuild after flooding

‘It’s going to be a marathon:’ Breathitt Countians working to rebuild after flooding
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:00 PM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY Ky. (WKYT) - Twelve Kentucky counties have now been approved for individual FEMA assistance.

On Thursday, Governor Beshear was pushing for more counties to qualify. Breathitt, Perry, Knott, Letcher, Clay, Floyd, Pike, Owsley, Leslie, Magoffin, Martin, and Whitley all qualify now. Cleanup and recovery in those communities will take a year or more.

In Breathitt County, some families are considering relocating out of fear of another flood.

“You can see, right there is all we saved in our 22 years of being there,” flood victim Decoursey Morris said.

Anything Moris was able to save from his home now sits in a garage.

“You can see, right there is all we saved in our 22 years of being there,” Morris said.

Last week’s flood destroyed much of his Breathitt County home.

“We’ve not been in it a year yet,” Morris said.

It’s sadly the same scene all over Breathitt County. Homes are heavily damaged or even washed off their foundation.

“We’re just trying to clean everything out and let it dry out. We’re just living day to day. We’re trying to get all the help that we can get,” Morris said.

Families there say Breathitt County is home. They don’t want to leave, but the flood has traumatized them.

“I don’t want to go through this ever again. You can’t do nothing with mother nature. But it’s took a toll on us this time. It really has,” Morris said.

“Breathitt County is a wonderful place. Our people will bounce back from this if we’re able to. The question going forward is going to be where is housing going to be appropriate,” county attorney Brendon Miller said.

They’re determined to rebuild in some way in the community they call home.

“This is not going to be a sprint. It’s going to be a marathon. It’s going to take quite a bit of time for us to recover and get back to any sense of normalcy,” Miller said.

President and First Lady Biden will be in eastern Kentucky Monday to tour damage and meet with victims. This will be the second time Biden has toured Kentucky as president, the first time being when tornadoes swept through western Kentucky.

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