County officials to survey flooding damage in Letcher County

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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Letcher County officials are saying several people had to be rescued because of flash flooding in the Kona and Payne Gap communities.

They say it is harder to estimate how many homes have been damaged by the flood waters.

David White's family lives in the Kona community where flood waters damaged the bridge that leads to his family's home. He says he is thankful no one was home when the flood waters gushed through the area.

"I was on my way home from work and I got a phone call", said White. "They were like, 'hey, you're grandma's house is getting flooded'. So I was like, 'I better hurry'."

Flash floods can be difficult to predict. Many in the community say the damage they are seeing is shocking.

"Pretty surprised", said White. "It usually gets up a little bit. But it's never this bad, ever. The last time it was, I think it was back in the 70's my grandma said."

County officials say three people had to be rescued from their vehicles as flood waters nearly swept them away. Two people were rescued on Bill Moore Branch and one on Webb Branch.

"It's a disaster. It's in people's homes", said Letcher County Magistrate Wayne Fleming. "They had the one rescue. A car just about got washed away. They got her out and she's safe now."

County officials say they are still figuring out how many homes are now damaged because of the flash flood.

"It's been in at least four homes", said Fleming. "It has destroyed asphalt up through there. It's in bad shape."

Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward says emergency officials are using backhoes to clear the roads of mud and rocks to make sure they are passable.

He says county officials will begin surveying the damage Wednesday morning.

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