‘Gone in a days time’: Flood victims turn to temporary shelter

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 3:44 PM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Nearly three weeks after flooding tore through Eastern Kentucky, some people still have to find temporary shelter while they figure out their next steps. Some people have started living out of tents.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

One man in Breathitt County is hoping he can be out of a tent and back in a home before winter.

Brandon Mullins said his house was nearly underwater. He was able to get out of the home without injuries, but his home was lost.

“Something just told me I had a feeling where it had been raining all night and I know how it is with water,” he said.

Mullins was able to get his disabled uncle out of the home and take him to safety, but now, they are living out of a tent.

“It’s been rough,” he said.

Mullins and his uncle have been sleeping on cots, getting by with what they were able to save from the flooding.

He said they have contacted FEMA, but they are still waiting for help, wondering how much longer they can manage with the tents.

“”What are you going to do for the winter?” and I said I don’t know it’s just right around corner,” said Mullins.

Just down the road on KY-542, Larry Jacobs is sleeping in a tent next to his house.

“This whole holler up through here got torn all to pieces,” he said.

The flood waters went over his vehicles and several feet of water got into his home, taking away everything he worked for.

“I worked 40 years of my life driving a truck over the road, and it just takes one day and it’s all gone everything,” said Jacobs.

The tent was given to him by volunteers, but with his back problems and other health issues, it’s hard for him to get in and out.

“It’s rough to get up and down. You have to get on your knees and push yourself up, and then find something to grab ahold of and pull yourself on up,” he said.

As heartbreaking as the flooding was, Jacobs says he has to count his blessings instead of the heartaches.

“Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start over. It’s all you can do,” said Jacobs. “It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst. Worst is I could not have anything.”

Jacobs has also contacted FEMA and he says they are being helpful. He’s in the process of gathering more paperwork.

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