Pike County officials update locals on flooding relief efforts
PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - “Widespread devastation,” is how Ray Jones, Pike County Judge-Executive referred to the damage from the flooding in the Big Sandy region.
During a news conference Friday, Jones said several homes and businesses were flooded and cleanup efforts will most likely be long-term. But, he said, there are positive things to find in the situation, as rescue efforts seem to have been successful.
“The silver lining in the cloud is that no one lost their life,” said Jones.
Emergency Management Director Nee Jackson said the main priority is the safety of people in the region, from those impacted to the first responders working to help. He said people should still avoid the heavily-hit areas to allow more room for the recovery efforts.
911 Director CJ Childers said water distribution will be starting Friday at Elkhorn City Fire, Sycamore Fire, Shelby Creek Rescue Squad and the Shelby Valley Fire Department. Cleaning supplies have also been ordered.
The Appalachian Wireless Arena will serve as an operations facility, feeding the donations into the distribution centers and the City of Pikeville is accepting donations of smaller items at the Pikeville Fire Department on Chloe Road.
The Pike County Health Department will be taking tetanus vaccines to those who need them in the days to come and the sheriff’s office is offering medicine delivery.
Mountain Water District representatives hope to have full restoration of water by the end of next week, saying it is a “very slow, methodical process.” Kentucky Power representatives say their crews are also working hard to restore access, up against “hidden dangers” like broken poles and washed out bridges.
Officials say they also plan to keep patrolling the areas to make sure looting and other criminal activity is not happening, and they will prosecute anyone caught in the act. Jones said there will also be issues for anyone who illegally dumps trash and debris during clean-up. He said the county will be picking up large piles by the roads, as calls come in. He also said trash should be separated from natural debris, like wood or brush.
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