Community reflects on months since flood, after missing Breathitt Co. woman found dead

Community reflects on months since flood, after missing Breathitt Co. woman found dead
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Two months ago, Breathitt County families stepped inside their homes for the first time after the flood.

Today, this is what is left for so many, just the plot of land they were build on. Remnants that they’d once been there, but nothing else.

“Now is when we need help, you know. Like blankets, heat, assistance like that. Even equipment coming in. When it’s fresh, it’s on everybody’s minds. Now here it is nine weeks into this thing,” said Jeff Noble, Breathitt County Judge Executive.

And there’s still major work to be done. As Judge Executive Jeff Noble works with the little money they have, there is some since of relief for the community Thursday.

“It’s been tough dealing with it. These two ladies who have been missing, it’s been gut wrenching. I spoke to one of the family members, and said anything I can do to help you. He said, ‘Just find my mom.’”

29-year-old Nancy Cundiff and 60-year-old Vanessa Baker both went missing from the Lower River Caney Road area on July 28th. Two families stuck in limbo for months after the flood, waiting for any type of news.

“It makes it tough. I went to school with the families. The other ones, I’ve grown up with and known them all my life. We are a close knit community. When they hurt, we hurt.”

The whole community hurting Saturday, as the news that a body had been found along the bank of Troublesome Creek quickly spread through town. Thursday, the family of Nancy Cundiff confirming the body found was her.

“I’ve just been praying. You know, they found the body last Saturday. I was praying and hoping it was one. Off the bat, I assumed it was one. But I’m just happy the family can finally have some closure. Knowing she’s been found.”

Just last month, Noble said they spent around $1.6 million on bills, basically draining their accounts.

They have to actually spend the money, do the improvements, and then submit the receipts to be reimbursed by the state, through the relief fund passed in august.

Which is very worrisome for noble as they’re giving away hundreds of heaters a week, and still have people living in tents.