‘We’ll probably lose everything we have’: Flooding causes major issues in Powell County

WKYT News at 5:00 PM
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:47 PM EST
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CLAY CITY, Ky. (WKYT) - Our Victor Puente is in Powell County tracking the major flooding across the state, and as he was driving into Clay City, Main Street was flooded and there was no way to get in. Firefighters are using back roads to launch their boats to rescue people whose homes are flooding.

People living along Kentucky 1057 say they’ve never had to worry about not being able to get out when it rains. That changed this morning.

“That driveway right down there it wasn’t covered yet, but about 8:00 it started to fill up and that’s when we knew we were probably gonna be stuck here,” said Seth Johnson, who is stuck in his house.

For some people it just meant not being able to travel, for others it meant water coming into their home.

“I got up at 4:00, it was probably up to my tires a little bit. Then we went to bed and got up about 9:00 and it was all the way up to, over our porch,” said Bethany Jones, who was evacuated from her home.

This drone video from photographer Ben Childers shows the extent of the flooding in downtown Clay City:

Jones said they grabbed a couple garbage bags, and packed what they could, not sure how their home would look when they returned.

“It’s all we have, and he’s out of his job right now so our vehicles, it’s up to the vehicle, it’s all the way up in the motor almost. So we’ll probably lose everything we have,” Jones said.

For those who couldn’t walk out on their own, rescue crews from multiple departments set out into the water.

The people they brought to dry land told us there was no way they could’ve stayed in their home.

“It was like a river coming through. It was washing off of mountains, and it was coming, there was no stopping it. It was just awful. Water going up in the houses. People up on roofs. It was bad,” said Pamela Gross, who was evacuated from her home.

Those flooded roads are causing other issues. The county’s dispatch center was inundated with calls. Even worse, if some people needed help, there was no way an ambulance would be able to get to them.

“Any medical emergencies right now are a very serious issue and we are handling them the best way we can. Unfortunately that’s being complicated a lot by the high water. In addition to that we are all dealing with a lot of people who are not heading warnings and driving into the water,” said Cory Graham with Powell County 911.

While our crew was at the 911 center they took a call of a mother and her three children who got stuck in high water. The Clay City police chief said that mother was on her way to get medicine for one of her children who has cancer.

They were able to rescue all four of them, but they had to leave their car behind.

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