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Folks remember Pike Co. flood three years later

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Wednesday marked three years since a flood destroyed parts of Pike County causing millions of dollars in damage.

Some folks on Harless Creek are still recovering from it, and they say they will never forget that day.

The sun was shining on Harless Creek Wednesday, but as Janie Caudill remembers July 17, 2010, was a completely different picture.

"You couldn't even get across my bridge. There was four-wheelers lodged in it. There was cars all around," she said.

Rushing flood waters took out almost everything in their path, washing away not only homes but the memories inside them.

"My mom lost the most of everybody, and she lost everything that her and my dad had worked for for 82 years," said Caudill.

Her mom, 83-year-old Joyce Blackburn, remembers it all too well.

"That destroyed it, tore it all to pieces," she said.

Many of the people who live along Harless Creek say since that flood, anytime a summer storm pops up many of them pack up and head downstream.

"I think a lot of the people are still in shock over it. Like I said every time it rains they panic," said Caudill.

In three years' time most of the folks there have rebuilt their lives, though some could not stand to stay.

"When the flood came it was hard. A lot of people sold their homes. A lot of people left the creek. They didn't want to live here anymore," said Caudill.

But those that stayed stuck together.

"I am coming back," said Blackburn.

They are moving forward but always remembering the day that changed their lives.

Many of the folks living there sued a mining company saying rainwater runoff from Cambrian Coal's surface mine caused the flood.

The company settled that suit last year.

A lawsuit with another mine company was settled in 2011.

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