Clay County officials declare State of Emergency after heavy rain

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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Update 9:14 p.m.

A total of nine people in Clay County have been forced to leave their homes in the county just hours before county officials declared a state of emergency.

County officials say the state of emergency was declared after recent flooding left behind tens of thousands of dollars in damages to roadways and bridges among other things.

"See where it's washed up some potatoes. But all of this was completely underwater", said Danny Garrett, who lives in a flooded community of Clay County.

The same flood waters that damaged Garrett's property caused nine people to be forced from their homes.

"I've never seen anything like that period. One minute it was raining and then the next minute it was chaos", said Garrett.

County officials estimate 20 roads have damage along with about 15 other bridges.

"We're probably at 70, $75,000 just getting over the threshold", said David Watson, who is the Clay County Emergency Management Director. "We've sat here and talked just a few minutes and we've already had two or three more places that's been called in that we hadn't even looked at."

County crews have been working around the clock to make sure all roadways are staying open.

Most of the damage is being seen in the Burning Springs community.

"Saw trees off the road, get debris out of the road, clean out ditch lines, get the water flowing back the way it should be flowing", said Watson. "Almost every road in that area has had some kind of county effort on it today."

That is not all. People in the community are finding even more damage as the water recedes such as the sinkhole Danny Garrett found in his yard.

"We really didn't notice this until it was all over after the water had went down and that's when we found this", said Garrett.

The six homeless people who had to leave the local homeless shelter that flooded Monday morning, along with three others forced from their mobile homes, all have one thing in common.

"We're real resilient and we're used to flooding so having family around you is always a good thing living here in the mountains", said Watson.

There are still two water main breaks crews are unable to get to because of high water levels.

The emergency management director encourages anyone who has damage to their home to document that for insurance purposes.

Call the county road department if you see any roadways damaged by the storms.

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Officials declared a State of Emergency in Clay County around 6 p.m. Monday.

It was declared because the county saw $70,000 worth of damages from flooding and heavy rain.

Six people were forced to relocate from the homeless shelter  in downtown Manchester due to rising water. People living in three mobile homes in the Burning Springs community, off Hogskin Road, also had to be evacuated.

Officials told WYMT about 20 county roads were damaged, along with 15 bridges. Five of those bridges are already repaired.

Two water main breaks also happened during the severe weather. Officials have not been able to reach those because the areas are still flooded.

One man said a sinkhole opened up next to his home as the flood waters began to recede.

"It happened so fast. I mean, five minutes it started raining and then 10 minutes there was chaos. It was bad," said Danny Garrett.

Nearby counties have already reached out to offer assistance while crews continue with repairs and assess damages.




 
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