Lee Co. community looks back at historic flooding one year later

After last year’s historic flooding, around 100 families and 80 businesses had been displaced in Lee County alone.
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 5:39 PM EST
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BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - After last year’s historic flooding, around 100 families and 80 businesses had been displaced in Lee County alone. And now a year later, while most areas are back to normal, some downtown Beattyville buildings remain vacant.

“Some places have never come back yet and hopefully they will, I don’t know. It’s just been hard on everybody,” said Debbie Dunaway, the owner of Beattyville Florist.

But what has made them all optimistic during their time of recovery this past year is how people stepped up to help.

“Everybody came in and helped everybody. I mean we couldn’t have done it without people helping us,” Dunaway said.

Even though things are mostly back to normal in Beattyville nearly a year after, there’s still some more work to be done to recover from that historic flooding.

“Congressmen Rodgers is sitting there and he is trying to get some earmarks of money so we can do a study to find a way to keep this from happening not just here but in Owsley County, in Breathitt County, in Letcher, Leslie Counties, and on down to Estill County,” Lee County Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill said.

And with this being severe weather awareness week, Caudill said their teams have also spent this past year improving their plans and practices if flooding or any other disaster were to happen again.

“What I have seen over the last year is incredible leaps and bounds in them being proactive to anticipate what’s coming. In other words, hope for the best, but they’re always planning for the worst,” Caudill said.

During last year’s flood, Caudill said some parts of downtown Beattyville saw standing water seven feet deep, during the highest point of the river.

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