Mobile homes, convenience stores, and auto body shops are underwater. FOX 56 spoke with Michael Hollan, a Breathitt County resident, about his experience with flooding in the area. Hollan said this is the second time his home has experienced flooding, the first time being in March 2021.
“Well I checked on it last night about 1:30 to 2 o’clock and it was like a foot at the top of the riverbank down there. I woke up this morning and it was on the side of the house. Before we got out it was coming up on the step. I was knee-deep to get out,” said Hollan.
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Homeowner Archie Combs said he has been up since 4 a.m. ” (I) Went down and the river level was perhaps 15 feet less than it is now, so we immediately began to move a lot of valuable items. I don’t think we moved them quite high enough from the garage”, said Combs.
Combs’ belongings are separated into two categories, the ones he’s managed to save and the ones he couldn’t get to in time.
“There’s two vehicles over there underwater, as you can see, the yard is sitting full of all the things we have moved. We have really hustled”, Combs added.
Combs said he has lived in this home since 1981. He has dealt with severe flooding in 1984 and in 2021 but said he wasn’t expecting flooding on this scale so soon.
“This is a mobile home here, it is on a block foundation, anchored appropriately, but glancing over at it now I can tell you this flood is at least 16 inches higher than it was on March 1,” Combs said.
He’s been up to his neck in water, still trying to get his things and help his daughter out, whose home is right behind his.
But the water is rising fast.
“It’s about 2 and we’re still getting about 6 inches raising per hour. So we’re really not done yet, rest assured this is probably a record flood,” Combs said.
A Breathitt County emergency responder told FOX 56 there have been no reported fatalities in the county. Emergency rescue crews are now driving school buses to the highway to pick up families who have lost their homes and drive them to shelters, like Lee’s College campus.
The area is expecting more rain on Thursday and residents are bracing for the town to be under more water.