FLOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – After nearly a year since the devastating Kentucky summer floods, neighbors and officials say there’s still a long road to recovery.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 14 inches of rain flooded parts of eastern Kentucky over a five-day period in July 2022, one of the most destructive periods in state history.
Tangie Clatworthy lives in Garrett and was home at the time the rain started. She says her basement was flooded, and it took six months for her family to completely gut the floodwaters out of their home and get their home back to normal.
“It came so fast,” Clatworthy says. “We were just hanging out and then we were dripping. We went and looked and it had started coming up through the vents before it had started coming through the doors.”
While Clatworthy’s home has been repaired, the same can’t be said for nearby infrastructure in the region.
Gov. Andy Beshear’s office says dozens of bridges were destroyed or damaged by last summer’s floods. Clatworthy says she still notices people in neighboring towns displaced as the state continues to make repairs to them.
“They’re still putting bridges in as we speak,” Clatworthy said. “You drive up through there, people are still having to park by the road and walk to their home because they’re still putting bridges in.”
In one year, Gov. Beshear (D-KY) says 43 bridges have been replaced in eastern Kentucky, and 33 others repaired.
He says the state’s greatest challenge in the recovery will be rebuilding water and sewer systems to sustain floodwaters. But his office admits many of the systems in place were already struggling before last summer.
For Maytown, residents say flooding is always an issue in the neighborhood. They say it floods often due to a creek along the town. This leads to rain flowing from the creek into the roads and people’s front yards.
“Even if it barely rains, it’ll flood,” Blade Walters says, a neighbor in Maytown. “I don’t like it raining and stuff because I like to come outside and play, but when it rains I can’t come out because you can get sick from the rain.”
Maytown residents also tell 13 News that a damaged culvert on the creek has had to be replaced twice in the last twelve months already.
More than $1 billion of damage was caused to water and sewer systems across the region from the flooding.
In an interview with 13 News, Gov. Beshear’s office says they have their work cut out for them to repair systems statewide to withstand intense rainfall, to prevent damages from last summer ever happening again.
“The way we’re building back, the bridges we’re putting in, especially on our public roads can not only withstand what we just saw, [and] the dollars we’re putting in for new water and sewer systems, we’re expanding the capacity to make sure they can handle more rain in the future,” Gov. Beshear said.