County hit by flooding

Published 1:23 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

As flood waters continue to recede from Thursday’s heavy rainfall, Harlan Countians are beginning their clean-up efforts and assessing damages to their properties and surrounding areas.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said National Weather Service data showed the river crest at Baxter as being the highest it has been at 25 feet since the 1977 flood. He added crews at the Harlan pump station pumped more than 87 million gallons of water during the flood.

Mosley said he is “thankful the rain ended when it did,” and if it hadn’t, the situation across the county and region “would have become much worse than it was and even still is.” He added many bridges and other tile crossings were compromised and roads were left impassable with deep water across them, leaving many people stranded or unable to get home.

“Flood waters have receded from Thursday’s flooding and cleanup is now underway,” Mosley said. “If you are a victim of flooding, there are groups that are here to aid you.”

Mosley said The American Red Cross has a shelter available at the Harlan Baptist Church and another temporary shelter at the Harlan County Courthouse for those impacted by the flood.

“You can contact them by calling 1-800-RedCross or call 606-573-6082. You may also stop by here (courthouse) to see them. They have cleanup kits available,” he said. “With Love from Harlan is also assisting flood victims with cleaning supplies. They also have some other necessities that victims may find helpful.”

Victims are asked to contact With Love from Harlan helpers through their Facebook page or by calling/texting 606-273-5456.

Mosley said in order to determine if the county or residents who were impacted by damaging flood waters qualify for assistance, all damage needs to be documented and reported to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Please report road damage to 606-573-6536. Home damage needs to be reported to my office at 606-573-2600 or Harlan County Emergency Management at 606-573-6082,” he said.

Mosley added solid waste services that were not able to be provided on Thursday due to flooding will be performed on Saturday.

“Please continue to pray for those who experienced flooding and for those who are working diligently to assist them,” Mosley said. “I am thankful we haven’t seen loss of life. I’m thankful for the many county employees, state employees, first responders and volunteers who have helped our people.”