Neighborhoods underwater: eastern Kentucky residents take it day-by-day


PAINTSVILLE, KY (WOWK) — Due to the heavy rains, there are still many communities in our region dealing with widespread flooding.

In Paintsville, Kentucky, many roads and neighborhoods remain underwater after Monday morning flooding— and residents say they are taking it one day at a time, waiting for the water to recede.

“It’s been a bad time in Paintsville Kentucky,” says Michael Auxier, who lives in Paintsville.  

A street in Paintsville, completely submerged. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

Early Monday morning, residents remember hearing the rain pouring down.

“I’ve never seen rain coming down like that. You know? And it happened so quickly, it wasn’t like you got two or three days, the flood waters keep coming up… this thing like hit overnight,” Auxier says.

“Everybody’s saying this is the most rain we’ve got. There’s people saying 15, 20 years they’ve never seen this.” 

Josh Stepp, resident of Paintsville

Josh Stepp recently moved into a new home and business space with his family, but they never expected this:

“We didn’t know if it was in a flood area, we never thought it would flood to be honest with ya. I mean, it was raining, and about two o clock the hot water tank has a leak sensor on it so it started beeping, my wife wakes up, and this whole area was flooded and almost about to come into the house,” Stepp recalls.

15 minutes later, they had to leave everything behind.

“Grabbed the baby, animals, headed to our parents house,” Stepp says.

Across town, you hear a similar story:

“You can see, the people here, in this street here, they moved all their cars over there to get out of the floodwater and it came up so fast that they couldn’t get their cars back out,” Auxier points out.

Some people couldn’t get to their cars after the floodwaters rolled in. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

Almost everyone has been touched in some way by the rapidly rising water:

“It’s in the school behind us, in the basement of the weight room. And they have to wait ’till it goes down to clean that and check their electrical system before they can have school,” says Paintsville resident Joe Porter.

Almost everyone has been touched by the flooding in some way. (13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

People say they’re going to need a lot of help with the cleanup of this flood.

“Lot of people going to have to have help and resources down here in Eastern Kentucky to take care of this… I’m hoping they call FEMA in to get some grants for the city of Paintsville so they can get this cleaned up.” 

Michael Auxier, resident of Paintsville

Neighbors say they can’t remember a time when the floodwaters lasted this long.

Residents say they are taking it day-by-day until the floodwaters recede. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

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