Knott County starting long process of recovery

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT
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KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The recovery process in eastern Kentucky is slow and time consuming.

Officials said it will be years before some things return to somewhat normalcy and even then, it will not be the same.

The owner of homes in the Hindman area said there are other areas of town that need more attention. In other places, the rebuilding stage has started.

“But as far as sewer, water, bridges, infrastructure, a couple of weeks in we are at $16 million and we’re not done yet,” said Tracy Neice, the Mayor of Hindman.

Cars are still in creeks and mud remains in some homes, but some places are ready to rebuild. It is a mixed bag all over Knott County and officials said it is just overwhelming what was done and what will be needed to fix it.

The flood heavily damaged the historic Hindman Settlement School, which was filled with water and mud. A lot was salvaged and some had to be thrown away. The basement is now a skeleton of what it used to be, but is ready for rebuilding.

“Working out of other spaces here on campus. Our teams are working remotely. Quite a bit of damage. Millions of dollars in losses as a result,” said Josh Mullins with Hindman Settlement School.

The mayor said FEMA will pay for a lot of their damages and while people on the ground are wonderful to work with, getting money there from the federal government is much slower.

Leaders with the Hindman Settlement School said they hope to begin their instruction and tutoring programs again in several weeks as the public schools reopen.