Flooding in Harlan County

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018

With the memory of flooding which took place in February still fresh in the memories of many residents, Harlan County has once again suffered a flooding event. Flash flooding occurred on Tuesday in Jones Creek and other communities.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley declared a state of emergence due to the loss of infrastructure including but not limited to road damage, water and sewer line damage, and damage to private property.

“Around noon on Tuesday, we had a significant rainfall event that occurred,” Mosley said. “WHLN (radio) recorded 2.75 inches of rain between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.”

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Mosley said a request has been made to the National Weather Service for more specific figures on the rain during that time.

“Jones Creek suffered the most extensive damage anywhere in the county,” Mosley said. “We had reports of damage occurring on about 25 different county roads, most of them were on Clover Fork.”

Mosley said several homes were damaged as well as vehicles, including a pickup truck and a Toyota Camry.

“The Camry got caught in a culvert downstream and clogged it up, which forced the water over the bank and washed out a lot of other things on downstream,” Mosley said.

According to Mosley, the extent of the damage is not yet known.

“We’re still getting all that data together, we don’t know exactly how many homes were damaged,” Mosley said.

Emergency crews responded immediately, according to Mosley.

“Fortunately, there was no loss of life and no injuries,” Mosley said. “Our first responder community — the fire departments and rescue squads — were there helping people out. People were wise about getting to higher ground.”

The county also sent heavy equipment out to help with the cleanup.

“We had our excavator and backhoes up there trying to help,” Mosley said. “You have to wait until the water goes down in a lot of cases before you can do any work, but the water was way outside of the banks.”

Mosley said residents told him the water came out of the hollow resembling a tidal wave. He added a volunteer group was in the area working on homes.

“A group from Detroit were up there working, and they sought higher ground. They were safe,” Mosley said.

Mosley pointed out things could have gone much worse.

“It could have been a tragedy,” Mosley said.

You can report damage caused by the flash flood event to Emergency Management at 573-6082.