Middlesboro ravaged by flood waters

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Some said it was the flood of a lifetime. Parts of Middlesboro were covered in water for hours Monday, the result of heavy thunderstorms during the night.

The city was divided by flood waters for most of the day. Several homes were destroyed, inundated with mud.

Creeks turned into rivers.

"She said get dressed, and we got to go," said Olivia Lynch.

Lynch's little eyes saw big waves.

"I came out the door, and the first thing I saw was water. And it was up to here, and my brother grabbed me. And he threw me headfirst into the truck," said Lynch.

"I've not seen anything like this, no not in my lifetime," said Sheila Lynch.

For mom Sheila, the thought of losing her kids to the rapids was all too real.

"I gave my kids life jackets, because I didn't know how far we were going to go in the water," said Lynch.

Homes on Blakeman Drive in Middlesboro were hit especially hard, as the creek overflowed its banks.

"The water was so strong, the windows were popping. I told my kids, told my girls, get upstairs and don't come back down," said Kim Goodman, who lives in the neighborhood.

"i wanted to make sure we were all safe. That's the main thing, to get your family out and make sure you are safe," said Rosie Huff, who lives in the neighborhood.

The force of the water knocked out Huff's patio and tore fences to the ground.

"It looks like a warzone here," said Huff.

Neighbors across the city said they will clean up and come back stronger than before.

"I couldn't imagine watching my children float away in the water. It was running hard," said Lynch.

Some folks in Middlesboro said this is the worst flood they've seen in fifty years.

Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock tells Mountain News officials have declared a state of emergency in the county.

Broack says officials will assess the damage as the water continues to recede.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will tour the damage in Middlesboro Tuesday morning.

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