Estill County flood waters receding, but major clean up efforts needed

Donations can be dropped off at the Irvine Fire Department on Collins Street.
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 8:42 PM EST
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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - In Estill County, floodwaters have started to recede, leaving behind a lot of dirt and debris on roadways and in neighborhoods.

Vernon Cecil’s business was underwater for two days.

“Oh it was a mess,” Cecil said. “Water was two or three inches on the floor running through the floor, so what we had to do was come in and open up and let the water drain out and then start setting our stuff out.”

With major damage and still no electricity, to prevent missing any more work, Cecil relocated his office to the parking lot.

“KU does not have the electric back on to our building,” Cecil said. “So, what we had to do to come to work after getting all this stuff out was set up a desk outside just to get our work done for the day.”

But some people in Estill County are still waiting for the floodwater to recede.

“There are a lot of roads still flooded,” Emergency Management Director Ronnie Riddell said. “We do have areas that are cut off still.”

Riddell said once the water has fully receded, their next steps will be damage assessment and large organized cleanup efforts.

But in the meantime, the community is doing what it can to support each other. They’re donating food, water, and cleaning supplies to the Irvine Fire Department, where anyone who has been affected by the flood can drive in and pick up the supplies they need.

“This is a small community, close-knit community and sometimes we have family members contacting us saying they’re okay or they need something, need help, need food, need water, we just want people to know that we’re here and if they need something we’ll do our best to get it to them,” Riddell said.

Riddell said since the flood gauge broke, it’s hard to estimate exactly when water levels will be back at a point when major cleanup efforts will start, but he said it could be into early next week.

Donations can be dropped off at the Irvine Fire Department on Collins Street.

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