Volunteers clean debris from creeks and streams in Letcher County following July floods

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Communities in Letcher County are still recovering from severe flooding in July 2022.

Volunteers came together on Saturday morning to remove debris and litter from creeks and streams in the Millstone community.

“We wanted to try to help the community out because so many people are still picking up their own homes,” said event organizer Ashley Bevins. “They didn’t have the opportunity to pick the rivers up, so we wanted to organize a volunteer group to come in and help pick up the streams and the rivers in our community.”

Bevins added that volunteers were not just from Letcher County, but were from across the state and from surrounding states.

“They come from across the state, there’s some from Virginia, there’s some from Clark County, there’s some from Clay County, so we have a large group,” said Bevins. “We have probably around 75 people today that have volunteered their Saturday.”

Chara Blank, a Danville High School environmental science teacher, says she has familial ties to the area, but it was also a great opportunity for her students to learn.

“I wanted to bring my students here to be able to see authentically some of the things that we learn about in our class,” said Blank, “and I wanted to give our environmental club an opportunity to really experience kind of a cleanup of an area.”

One of Blank’s students, Isabella Murray, spent her 17th birthday volunteering at the event and says it was important to make a difference in communities across the state.

“It’s important to do more than talk,” said Murray. “I feel like it’s really good to get out and try to make a difference and volunteer and it’s good to support different parts of our state. I mean, those are our communities too.”

Bevins added that she would like to thank all of the volunteers and community partners that made the event possible.