Another year of the flood

Published 8:54 am Monday, February 12, 2018

The rain started this past weekend, and current projections indicate that there is still more to come.

For the entire week, the only projected day with something of a respite from the rain in Saturday, which, according to, will be cloudy but dry.

Videos and photos of the damage have taken over social media as the community and county officials try their hardest to keep everyone abreast of the situation as it develops.

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The inundation of heavy rainfall has severely damaged many parts of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. Bell, Harlan and Claiborne counties were all put under a state of emergency due to the flooding.

In Bell County, a state of emergency was verbally declared during the storm on Saturday and officially declared a short time after that.

When a city, town, county etc, declares a state of emergency it means that there is widespread damage that needs to be assessed and attended to. It also makes it so the affected area can receive further government assistance.

“We field calls as they come. Right now we don’t have anyone that is expressing dire need at the moment. We are in the process of assessing damages. The north end of the county — it’s going to be a bit before the water gets down in the Route 92 area so that we can make assessments there…all the rest of it we can pretty much get to now,” said Judge-Executive Albey Brock.

Brock highlighted the diligent work our counties emergency response crews have done. “I can’t say enough about our first responders and emergency management folks. We just came through the second largest flood since 1977. To my knowledge, I am unaware of anyone who was seriously injured. We were able to safely rescue those in need or rescue. My hats off to all the first responders and the state transportation folks, our county and city roads departments,” he said.

“This flood has been the second highest on record in Bell County after the ‘77 flood. It’s been devastating to see the homes and businesses effected by it. At the same time, it’s been amazing to watch the people rally behind one another, like we always do during times like this. And we all owe a huge thanks to our first responders, road crews, fiscal court and emergency management team who work with little to no sleep to make sure all of our citizens are safe,” said Jon Grace, director of Bell County Tourism.

The judge-executive also requests the public be patient regarding aid and repairs in the coming weeks.

“I want to ask the public to be extremely patient with us over the coming days and even weeks once we assess this damage. It being the second largest flood since 1977…it’s going to take us a while to overcome this. We will get it all done. I humbly ask for the public’s patients as we go about the business of cleaning this mess up.”

If anyone has damage to their home or personal property as a result of the flood cal 606-337-5897 and report it so you can receive assistance.