‘I didn’t have him there this time’: Floyd County family recovering from flooding after death of father, husband

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In late July, severe flooding damaged many homes, businesses, and other properties in the Wayland community of Floyd County.

“Out of all the flooding that I’ve dealt with, that was the worst,” said Michael Caudill, whose home received damage from flood waters. “I’ve never seen water rise as quick and come in as quick as what that did.”

Michael Caudill, along with living in the Wayland community, is also an officer and secretary at the Garrett Volunteer Fire Department. Michael Caudill volunteered there along with his dad, firefighter Phillip Caudill. Phillip Caudill sadly passed in May 2022 in the line of duty.

Now, Michael and the Caudill family are recovering, but still grieving the loss of their father, grandfather, and husband.

“Always the flooding before, it was like, I know what to do, but my dad was there, and I was like... what do we need to do next?” said Michael Caudill. “I had somebody to say, hey, remember, we got to get this out, we got to get this out... I didn’t have him there this time.”

Michael’s home as well as his mother’s home were both partially submerged during the floods. His mother, Pam Caudill, had around four feet of water inside her home.

Despite the devastating loss, Pam Caudill was able to save memorabilia, belongings, and some photos of her late husband.

“The things I was able to save means something to me because now it’s how I got left of him,” said Pam Caudill, wife of Phillip Caudill. “Just a few trinkets, things that he bought me, dishes, he knows that I love dishes, vintage dishes, and... I was able to save those.”

Michael, Pam, and the rest of the Caudill family are pushing onward despite the long road ahead and the challenging circumstances they have faced thus far.

“You’re always stronger than you think you are,” said Pam Caudill. “You just have to get up every morning, thank the Lord for the day, and keep going.”

The Caudills say they are forever grateful for all the help they have received from churches, mission groups, as well as local, county, and state government.