A Community Deals With Unexpected Flooding

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. — A southeastern Kentucky town is dealing with historic flooding.


What You Need To Know

  • Historic flooding hits the town of Beatyville
  • Crews have been working for two weeks dealing with issues from the snow and ice storm and now the flooding.
  • The town is under a boil-water advisory and crews continue to work to get families to safety.
  • The water is beginning to recede but total damages won’t be known until the water has totally gone down

Officials in Beattyville are working around clock coordinating rescues and surveying damage.

Downtown Main Street is submerged in water and just yards away, crews with the Lee County Emergency Management Team used a backhoe to clear the water.

The machine and boats are now modes of transportation from one side of town to the other.

“The water came up so fast that Main Street of Beattyville, the side streets, even though we’re next to the Kentucky River we have had a major flood,” said Edward Scott Jackson, Mayor of Beattyville.

While on a boat ride surveying the damage, Jackson said the flash flood was unexpected.

“To ride a boat in Beattyville, I’ve heard about it all my life but I never thought I would be doing it. I was hoping I never would,” Jackson said.

Since Sunday, crews and volunteers have been coordinating efforts to rescue families and pets said Lee County Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill.

“Our all-volunteer fire departments, our all-volunteer search, and rescue team, they’ve been going nonstop for two weeks,” Caudill said.

The ice storm from a couple of weeks ago caused power outages and now add damage from flash flooding.

“We’re under a boil water advisory right now,” said Jon Allen, Emergency Management Director in Lee County.

He said he’s seeing progress with the water starting to recede.

“Once we can get where we can get into our businesses we’ll start evaluating those for damage assessment and kind of see where we’re going to go from there,” Allen said.

Both the county and city efforts combined, officials estimate they’ve tallied at least 50 or so rescues by working together during these trying times.

“We all may not agree on anything but something like this takes place, we’re one great team. We all pull together,” Jackson said.

Allen said the American Red Cross is finding shelters for people evacuated from their homes and a couple of community centers are also being used as temporary shelters until the water fully recedes.