Nicholas Co. family helping flood victims by setting up online guide with resources

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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CARLISLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Over a week removed from devastating flood, Andrea Bussell and her family are picking up the pieces like many other in Nicholas County.

Her father Jeff and grandmother Billie had their businesses on Moorefield Road wiped out. For Billie, her tanning salon doubled as a home.

“It looked like a river outside, it even got up on the road, but I wasn’t scared at any point,” said Billie Hinton.

When she woke up, Billie had to move from her bedroom toward the front door. The water quickly got up to her chest, you can still see the line even after days of cleaning.

She waded to the front room in bare feet with submerged tanning beds and electronics just feet away from her. Her phone fell in the water, so the only way she could contact her family was signaling to them through the door.

“I really thought that I might get shocked because usually when the water comes up, I tell Jeff to throw the breaker so everything’s off but he wasn’t here,” Billie said.

“I know she has neuropathy really bad and I thought ‘oh God, she fell and couldn’t get up’ and I was praying to God for 20-30 minutes to please let her be okay,” said Connie Hinton, Billie’s daughter-in-law.

Connie’s prayer was answered and Billie was brought to safety.

Andrea knew it would be a long road to recovery for not just her family, but also for her hometown of Carlisle.

“And we just hit the ground running taking requests from people. If people needed resources, we got them resources,” Andrea said.

She and her husband Brad created a resource guide for the community and a GoFundMe, which has raised over $20,000.

“We said people are going to need dehumidifiers, they’re going to need shop vacs to get the water out of their house. people are going to need air units,” Andrea said.

As residents shift from cleaning to rebuilding, Andrea said they’ll keep distributing until they run out of funds.

“In a situation like this, you know who your real friends are,” Billie said.

“The world would be a much better place if they saw what Carlisle, how they came together, the love and compassion,” Connie said.

After three decades in business, Billie is staying optimistic the tanning salon can stay open.

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