Central Kentucky Waterlogged After Heavy Rains

Heavy rains closed roads and prompted rescues early Friday morning throughout Central Kentucky.

At one point, water started rising near the railroad overpass on North Broadway near New Circle. Police say water got up to a foot deep. Crews also had to block a few lanes of New Circle Road. The area was able to reopen later Friday morning. Many other roads in the areas were closed for the morning commute.

The view from SKYFIRST shows fields and neighborhoods across central kentucky look more like "no wake zones" for boaters than typical bluegrass we're used to seeing.

Water surrounds homes in a neighborhood in the Faywood area off Old Frankfort Pike making some mobile homes look more like house boats. There's more water trouble in the Tate's Creek area where some people had to evacuate their homes.

In Franklin County, the creek near Devils Hollow Road got out out of its banks. Workers closed the road after there were fears a one-lane bridge would be washed away near the intersection of Bryant-Benson Road.

In southern Scott County, rescue crews were called to rescue people from a mobile home stranded in high water on Lisle Road. Rescue crews used boats to get the people to safety. There were no injuries.

Rescue workers also rescued people in stranded cars in Clark and Franklin counties.

Firefighters also responded to a home in Scott County after lightning struck it. A woman called 911 saying lightning hit her house. The woman says she saw smoke and got out of the home. Firefighters found no fire conditions once they arrived. There was no serious damage to the house.

AP Story
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky was swamped by heavy rains Friday, making numerous roads impassable, forcing evacuations and causing at least one death when a toddler was trapped in floodwaters.

Many rivers and streams surged over their banks as rainfall reached a half-foot in some areas, and a few school districts canceled classes due to roads covered by water.

In western Kentucky, 2-year-old Kate Hearod died after her mother rounded a curve and lost control of her vehicle when driving into high water in Crittenden County before dawn Friday, according to state police.

The mother, Heather Hearod, 22, of Hampton was able to get out of the vehicle and retrieve her daughter, but as the mother struggled to get out of the floodwaters she became separated from her child and lost sight of her, said state police Trooper Stu Recke. The girl was found later nearby, he said.

The girl was taken to Livingston County Hospital, where she later died. An autopsy was done, and the preliminary cause of death was listed as apparent drowning, state police said.

The girl's mother was not injured, Recke said.

The floodwaters were high enough to reach the shoulders of an investigating trooper, Recke said.

Elsewhere in western Kentucky, about 30 people were evacuated from their homes in Hopkins County - including 14 people rescued by boat from a trailer park, said county Judge-Executive Donald Carroll. Several roads were under water after the county was soaked by a half-foot of rain, he said.

One Hopkins County evacuee, Linda Sojtori, 66, said she looked out her window overnight and saw rising water covering her driveway and street. She said she was unsure how she would get out of her mobile home when a rescue worker showed up on her front porch to evacuate her by boat.

"I was scared to death," said Sojtori, who was taken to a Red Cross shelter. "And when this man knocked on the door, it was like an answer from heaven."

Elsewhere, residents were evacuated from about a dozen mobile homes surrounded by water in a low-lying area of Jessamine County in central Kentucky, said John Carpenter, the county's emergency management director.

One of the state's signature tourist attractions was affected by high water. On Thursday, the Kentucky Horse Park at Lexington prepared for predictions of heavy rainfall by shifting about 15 horses to higher ground, away from pastures with creeks running through or near them.

The precautionary move worked out, since 100 to 200 acres were under water Friday at the 1,200-acre horse park. Flooding is seldom a problem at the picturesque park, but "we just had so much rain in such a short period of time," said park spokeswoman Cindy Rullman.

In northern Kentucky, mostly minor to moderate river flooding was expected after the region received 3 to 5 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, said Mike Callahan, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Louisville.

Western Kentucky had received 2 to 6 inches of rain since late Wednesday, pushing already rain-swollen rivers and streams even higher, said weather service meteorologist Kelly Hooper.

Rivers also were rising in eastern Kentucky, where the heaviest rainfall totaled 2 to 4 inches by Friday morning in portions of northeastern Kentucky, said weather service meteorologist Brian Schoettmer in Jackson.

Callahan said the heavy rain would push portions of the Licking, Rolling Fork, Rough and Green rivers above flood stage. Meteorologists were keeping a close eye on the Ohio River, he said.

Some of the worst flooding could occur along the Rolling Fork River at Boston, a flood-prone area south of Louisville where the river was expected to rise about 10 feet over flood stage, Callahan said.

Rivers were surging over their banks across western Kentucky as well.

"Almost all the rivers are flooding," Hooper said.

In central Kentucky, a Scott County rescue crew went by boat early Friday to retrieve two women, a child and some pets stranded by high water approaching their mobile home, said sheriff's Deputy Jearl Porter.

He said the area had received between 4 and 5 inches of rain, making travel difficult.

"We have lots of road closings," he said Friday morning. "It's getting to be probably the majority of roads in and out of town (Georgetown) are closed."

The road closings were so numerous that authorities used dump trucks to block some swamped roads because highway crews were running short of "road closed" signs, Porter said.

The steady rain was ending Friday morning in northern Kentucky, though showers were possible in the afternoon, Callahan said. Eastern Kentucky was expected to receive up to an additional 1½ inches of rain.

After that, the state should get a welcome reprieve from the rain, with dry weather forecast until Wednesday, Callahan said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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