An up-close look as Ky. Fish and Wildlife distributes supplies to Perry Co. victims

An up-close look as Ky. Fish distribute supplies to Perry Co. victims
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re only a few days in, and there are still so many hard days to come for a number of communities in eastern Kentucky.

We got an up close and personal look at the power of devastating flooding, and saw the people it has affected most. Our crew was given special permission to go out with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife on Monday, and we spent about five hours as they took us to an area nearly wiped off the map.

Troublesome Creek in Perry County is still rolling, but it’s down significantly from just five days ago when nothing in its path was safe.

“I had just laid down in my bed and I heard these rocks and stuff crashing, coming down the holler and I looked out the window and it was above my window,” flood victim Terry Tarter said.

Tarter lives across the road from the creek, but last week he barely escaped being swallowed up by it. He watched as the water got higher and higher.

“It was like six inches of getting up on the front porch,” Tarter said.

Tarter is just one of countless people living near the Ary community that Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers spent Monday checking on.

We were able to travel with conservation officers Glenn Griffie and Ethan Vincent. They go door to door delivering things like food and water, and even these officers are amazed by what they see.

“If you just showed up today and looked at it you honestly might think it was a tornado that hit, you have houses completely ripped from their house seat and you have double wide, single wide trailers that’s pushed down the creek and river hundreds of yards and some that is totally missing,” Griffie said.

It’s not just people these officers are looking out for—it’s the four-legged kind too.

In this community, nothing was spared, not even an elementary school. Homes there were leveled or pushed off the foundations, cars were flipped like toys. The road these officers travel is a difficult one, made even more difficult by the fact that there are still searches going on.

Not everyone there made it out alive, but for those who survived, you don’t even have to ask them twice if they consider themselves lucky.

“The Lord took care of me, I sat right there and it was fixing to get in my house six inches and I started praying, I did, and I said, ‘Lord take the water down,’ and I sat there and about 30 minutes I could see my top step and it kept on going down. And I said, ‘thank you Lord,’” Tarter said.

Tarter lost people he knew in the flooding, and it’s a harsh reality as we see the death toll rise. Active searches are still ongoing in the county.

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