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Disaster Relief deployed in east Kentucky floods


BARBOURVILLE—Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers moved quickly to assess flood damage in eastern Kentucky, where heavy rains over the weekend pushed mountain streams over their banks.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, the first team deployed to Barbourville and did flood cleanout on about six to eight homes in a few days. The second team served over the weekend and worked on two to four buildings and the Meridzo - Appalachian Regional Ministry Center in Lynch, Ky., operated by Lonnie Riley, a Kentucky Baptist missionary.

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Flooding in eastern Kentucky left people in shelters for days and destroyed home.

The teams, both consisting of around 10 volunteers came from Three Forks Baptist Association and South Union Mt. Zion Baptist Association.

State Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb said initial assessments yielded good news in that damage to homes was not widespread.

About 5 inches of rain caused steams to rise, blocking roads and stranding residents in their homes. On-the-ground assessments were completed in areas around Barbourville, Harlan, Pikeville, Prestonsburg and Hazard.

Kentucky Emergency Management spokeswoman Monica L. French said Harlan, Bell, Knox, Letcher and Floyd counties were declared states of emergency.

The Harlan Daily Enterprise reported damage along the upper Cumberland River.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said "many people" reported property damage.

"At one point, we had more than 50 people in shelters because many could not get back to their homes," Mosley told the newspaper. "We had some people trapped across creeks because the bridges were covered." (WR/KT)

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