Eastern Ky. flood victims provided with travel trailers to escape winter cold

WATCH | Eastern Ky. flood victims provided with travel trailers to escape winter cold
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:20 PM EST
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Many eastern Kentucky flood victims are still living in campers and temporary housing as they work to rebuild their homes and do not have reliable heat sources.

In Breathitt County, families are moving into travel trailers provided by the state.

It’s the little things, like an electric fireplace, that have warmed Velma McIntosh’s spirits.

Just two days ago, Velma moved into this travel trailer. She’s been living with family since her Breathitt county home was damaged by July’s floods.

“I feel like I have a place of my own and not intruding I called it.”

Velma is one of the more than 2,000 people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the floods. With winter approaching, there is an urgent push to make sure these families have a warm and safe shelter.

just days ago, Velma was losing hope., until she talked to her preacher.

“I was telling him I was about to lose all my hope and he prayed for me, and Tuesday after that I got the trailer and they brought drywall for my house, The trailer that I lived in and insulation and that sort of gave me hope again.”

A neighborhood, of travel trailers, is set up on a lot in Breathitt county. These are some of the 320, at 10 sites across the region, housing 645 people. With 224 people still staying at Kentucky State Parks.

In Breathitt County, Judge-Executive Jeff Noble says they are working to make sure families have somewhere warm.

“A lot of the biggest problem is, something I didn’t realize, is the homes that got flooded and they’re semi getting back into their heat pumps are destroyed,” Noble said. “Now, they’re telling me there’s a shortage of heat pumps and ductwork.”

In the aftermath of the flood, piles and piles of clothes were donated to the region. Now, the need is great for winter items like heaters and blankets.

For Velma, she feels blessed to have a place she can feel safe and warm.

“I have a sense I’m home now,” Velma said.

Noble says there are several organizations still in the area helping with rebuilding homes and helping people find shelter. A warming shelter will be opened at the Jackson Fire Department should it be needed.