Breathitt Countians create recovery organization after flood

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Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Many communities that were impacted by the flood are transitioning into the recovery phase and with that comes several organizations willing to help in this process.

One of those organizations is the Breathitt County Long Term Recovery Team. This group was originally founded following flooding in March 2021, but the group is continuing their work after the most recent flood.

“Its gratifying yet its sad in the same respect that we’re in this situation in Breathitt County just a year ago when we basically just got done getting people back into their homes and now they’re flooded again,” said Susan Harley, a member of the recovery team.

On Tuesday, the organization assisted a Breathitt County woman whose main bridge to her home was washed away.

“There’s so much need. People, throughout the state that are just really hurting, have lost everything, so if people can come in and give some help, that’s wonderful,” said Carol Swartzentruber, who is receiving repairs for her bridge.

The organization is led by a handful of Breathitt Countians who volunteer their time to muck out houses, clean debris and make structural repairs in the area.

“It’s too much for your local government, and the money your local government has is basically earmarked already,” said Harley. “When you end up with roads that aren’t there anymore, that’s not budgeted anywhere.”

The group partners with other organizations, like the Mennonite Disaster Service, to assist the community.

The Breathitt County Long Term Recovery Team is focusing on areas in Breathitt County currently, but they would also like to help across the region where they are needed.

If you are in need of assistance, those with the team ask that you call Crisis Cleanup to register at (606) 268-0896.

If you would like to volunteer alongside the organization, you can call (606) 233-3502.

To learn more about the organization, you can visit the Breathitt County Long Term Recovery/Planning Team Facebook page.

The team will be having a meeting on Monday, Sept. 26 at 5:30 pm at the Breathitt County Senior Center.