Leaders to move flood victims from Wolfe County Schools shelters to West Liberty
WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Leaders in Wolfe County are working to move displaced flood survivors to a new location after being housed at different schools in the count, but the district says it must get ready for the upcoming school year.
Wolfe County students are supposed to come back to the classrooms on August 10th. Superintendent Kenny Bell said that when the floods hit, that timetable got tossed up in the air. But thanks to a new agreement with Morgan County to house flood victims, that timetable may still be intact.
“We will start on August 10th on schedule,” said Kenny Bell, Wolfe County Superintendent. “We’ll have professionals come in and do a deep cleaning, make sure and test everything and make sure everything is clean and sanitized for our staff and students.”
Bell said that when the flood waters began rising, he and his staff jumped at the chance to help a fellow neighbor.
“I always say on the basketball court or softball field we’re rivals, and we compete against each other, but when something like this happens, we’re neighbors,” said Bell. “We’re here to help them.”
Bell says that in a little under three hours, Wolfe County Middle School, High School, and Campton Elementary were all converted into shelters. Staff were on hand to give out essentials and feed the flood victims. Now Bell says that flood victims are moving to the Wellness Center up in West Liberty, which is better equipped to be a more permanent shelter for flood victims. That lets Wolfe County focus on other ways of helping, like continuing to bring meals, and sending crews down to Jackson to help with the cleanup effort.
“This allows us to move to a different phase of recovery,” said Bell.
Superintendent Bell says that as of right now, that timetable will stay the same, which means that Wolfe County Students are planning to start school next week.
Wolfe County officials and workers for the Red Cross say that the Wellness Center is a better facility for flood victims. It was built after the 2012 tornado and designed with being a natural disaster shelter in mind. But some flood victims don’t want to go.
“We’ve already lost everything,” said Destiny Bryant, flood victim. “With gas prices being so high, it’s going to be hard for some of us to travel back and forth every day to clean, to work, for doctors, everything like that.”
“All of us have been through enough,” said Rebecca Gibson, flood victim. “Get us back home! Get us back to Jackson!”
People staying out at Campton Elementary say that the sudden move means that they won’t be able to keep their pets with them because of Red Cross policies. Rebeca Gibson says that her grandkids chose not to get on rescue boats during the flood so that they could stay with their animals. She and others say these animals are their emotional support through these tough times.
“My dog [has] never been caged up before and she’s got separation anxiety real bad,” said Sherri Warren, flood victim. “She’s always slept with me so it’s going to be a real problem.”
The Red Cross officials said that the animals will be able to come to Morgan County, but they won’t be able to stay with their owners.
One Red Cross worker said that there will be caseworkers up at the center in Morgan County that can help the flood victims with things like applications, paperwork, and give them some more resources as they work to recover from these floods.
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