BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – Eight days after historic flooding, communities continue on the road toward recovery, and Breathitt County is no different.
With a cleanup event set for Saturday at 9 am in the county, Judge Executive Jeff Noble told FOX 56 that it has been heartbreaking to see people bring in some of their lifelong belongings, throwing them away, after they were damaged during the floods.
“Well it has been a cleanup since Day 1,” Noble said. “We got debris lot above Walmart and it just breaks your heart to see so much debris brought in and I mean this is just what people are cleaning up, it ain’t people lost that washed away.”
With the cleanup that has already taken place, there have certainly been some challenges according to Noble.
“Busting roads in where they can get out,” said Noble. “Even some of the hardest hit areas. We already got a church waiting to turn into a distribution center for their community. I’ve been to different places in the community, and they’re completely wiped out. When I say completely wiped out, I’m talking about no home period in a stretch of road.”
Help has been pouring into Breathitt County not only from across Kentucky but also from across the United States and for that, Noble is thankful.
“But it has just been amazing how, not just the community and the people in the community but I mean other counties, other states calling,” Noble said. Every time I look at my phone it’s somebody from Texas. Somebody walks into my officer and they’re from New York I mean it has just been amazing to see things come together to support our community.”
Although heartbreaking, this experience with the floods has given Noble a new perspective on the title he holds as Judge Executive for Breathitt County.
“I’ve learned a whole new meaning of being a leader and I will lead us through this thing,” said Noble. “I am honored to be the leader right now and we will get through this thing.”
And he is proud to support the county he has called home for most of his life.
“I’ve been to a lot of places in my life but I mean, there are no place even compared to our beauty,” Noble said. “I know they talk down to poor Eastern Kentucky. I am proud to be a poor Eastern Kentucky. And if they want to call me that, if they want to call me a hillbilly or a redneck, that’s ok. We have the most brilliant people right here in Eastern Kentucky and man I’m just proud of that.”