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Flooding recovery efforts likely to take years in some small Kentucky towns

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 28, 2022

HINDMAN, Ky. (LEX 18) — In the Kentucky towns of Garrett and Hindman, the recovery effort is likely to take years.

The rain started on Wednesday night, and as one person said, it was heavy and steady into Thursday morning. The eastern part of the state was hammered by inches of rain since Monday, and Wednesday night saw even more rain.

Rivers and creek banks couldn't hold all the rainwater, and flooding began submerging homes, businesses, and roads.

In Hindman, the downtown area was destroyed. For another small town, Garrett, some of the last safe places to go for the close-knit community of residents and business owners were destroyed, leaving residents with no choice but to wait out the flooding through the night and try to band together soon after sunrise.

"They came and got my wife and two-year-old," said Onas Hanekamp. "They pulled into my carport, picked my wife and child up, and I got on a jet ski because we were going to two different locations. I had to get my vehicle out, too."

"All of these low-lying areas and most people don't have flood insurance," said Paul Francis, who was rescued from his home. "[They'll] probably lose everything."

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The state's governor has declared a state of emergency and the hope is help from FEMA will be there, but some are a little skeptical about that. And even if help comes, they know it’ll be a while.

This story was originally published by WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.