PRESTONSBURG, KY (WOWK) – Wednesday afternoon, Prestonsburg first responders spent time going over their emergency equipment with a fine-tooth comb.
“In this line of work, we have to stay ahead of the game and be prepared because, at the end of the day, it is people’s lives,” Prestonsburg Firefighter Tyler Sparks says as he preps their boats for possible water rescues.
Staying ahead of the storm is the goal for city leaders in Prestonsburg because they know far too well how devastating it can get. The historic flooding that hit Floyd County back in July forced people out of their homes.
Prestonsburg Fire Chief Mike Brown says they were faced with “different situations that we hadn’t (dealt with) before.”
Now, it’s not just rain causing problems. Over the weekend, high wind speeds made an apartment building collapse, spreading debris across the neighborhood.
Crews brought in heavy equipment to move it out so it wouldn’t blow away and cause any more widespread damage.
Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton also met with leaders from all departments talking about what role they would play if and when disaster happens.
“We make sure everything is working, so we have our boats ready, our MAC which can be used as a temporary shelter if we had to. What would tourism have to do with this, they’re very good at getting social media out for us,” Stapleton says before the storm hit.
Additional manpower is also brought in to lighten to workload for local first responders.
Sparks says if they start to get overwhelmed with the additional help, they will “start prioritizing calls and take life-threatening calls first.”