Harrison County opens shelter for people forced out of homes by flooding

It's a first for Harrison County, having to set up an emergency shelter during a pandemic....
It's a first for Harrison County, having to set up an emergency shelter during a pandemic. Thankfully, the Harrison County Middle School gym offers plenty of open space. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 3:40 PM EDT
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Flooding is threatening many areas of Central Kentucky, especially those along the Licking River.

As the rain has continued to hammer down on Harrison County, floodwaters from the Licking River continue to rise and they are threatening many homes and businesses in Cynthiana at the crest.

"It's been a whirlwind since 8 o'clock this morning," said Judge-Executive Alex Barnett. "I got up early and checked the roads and checked the projections and it was about 20 foot, the projections were this morning, actually at 7 o'clock. By a little bit after 8 the projections were for 24 and a half feet."

And the projections have risen from there, with several hundred expected to evacuate from the area.

"We are expecting the crest between midnight and 1 a.m. at 26 feet so we are at a whirlwind pace trying to get a shelter set up to evacuate the lower end of Cynthiana," said Barnett.

It's a first for Harrison County, having to set up an emergency shelter during a pandemic. Thankfully, the Harrison County Middle School gym offers plenty of open space.

"We are getting prepared with guidelines sent down from Frankfort on how to properly social distance in a shelter," Barnett said. "It's the first time for us and it's going to be different. And Gene Thomas, our preparedness coordinator, is doing a good job of handing down those guidelines and telling us what we need to do to be prepared."

Emergency management is urging people who know they will be affected by the flooding to voluntarily leave before dark. Evacuating the area after dark only increases the danger for all parties involved.