WKYT - Richmond - Headlines

EKU employees help flood victims

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Days after heavy rains flooded parts of our area, we're hearing heroic tales of people who helped rescue the victims.

When Friday's rising waters trapped a Richmond woman in her basement, two Eastern Kentucky University employees jumped into action to help firefighters reach her.

"We were already pumping out water to several university owned homes, when fire fighters started yelling for our help," said Joe Bratcher.

Bratcher and Garney Smith, electricians at EKU, quickly responded and helped crews pump out water to several flooded homes near University Drive and S. 2nd street, near Madison Middle School. Including the home where an 82-year-old woman was trapped inside her basement.

"The fire fighters are the real heroes here. We just helped make their job easier and much safer for them to enter the home," Bratcher said.

The woman was rescued unharmed. Around the corner another home quickly taking on water forced Ellis Pelham, 64, escape through his basement window.

"I can only describe it like a tidal wave," Pelham told WKYT. "In less than a minute the water was up to my chest."

The army veteran who survived Vietnam and the first Gulf War says he didn't have time to think.

"My brain focused on one thing, getting out alive," he said. Pelham says he appreciated the combined efforts by the fire fighters and the two EKU employees.

"We were just glad to help," said Garney Smith. "We'd do it again if asked."

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