Mississippians help pick up the pieces following Kentucky flooding
LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - A Long Beach woman is returning to her home state of Kentucky to deliver some much needed supplies and motivation to flood victims there.
She teamed up with Comeback Coolers to deliver in some of the areas ravaged by high water. She said based on what she saw, it could take years to recover.
“There’s really no way to describe it because we just kept going and kept going and every time we would see something different you were just like, ‘Oh my god. Oh my god,’” Sandy Chesnut said. “It’s just hard to see people I grew up with in that situation.”
It was an area once full of natural beauty with rolling hills with narrow creek valleys in between. However, as July flood waters receded in eastern Kentucky, Mother Nature made her message clear - revealing her irreversible damage.
“The bridges were all washed out that would connect the main road to the road in the hollers,” Chesnut said.
It’s heartbreaking for Chesnut, who didn’t grow up far from ground zero. She recently delivered coolers full of cold drinks to flood victims as they clean mud from their houses. It was a small gesture with a big impact.
She now lives in Long Beach and lived through Hurricane Katrina. Chesnut said the devastation in her home state mimics that of Katrina, but the recovery process for those in Kentucky will be far more difficult.
“I’m wondering how they are ever going to rebuild because their houses, the bank of the river or the creek was washed away so far back, five or six feet,” Chesnut said. “The houses are just hanging over the bank.”
From the main roads, it might not look so bad, but up in the hollers, it’s catastrophic with entire homes washed into the road.
Because the damage is so widespread in such an isolated area, it makes getting emergency help to some homeowners seem nearly impossible. The challenge to clean up will be one faced for years to come.
“How are they going to rebuild, where are they going to rebuild?” Chesnut asked. “Some of those people have lived in those hollers with their families for hundreds of years.”
WLOX’s Appalachia campaign is still underway. We’re raising money for groups on the ground in Kentucky helping flood victims rebuild. You can find more information by clicking here.
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