Heavy Rains Cause Flooding Across Mercer, Kentucky

Margie Brothers and her son, Ritchie Brothers, stand in front of their flooded driveway, shed and basement on East Maple Street in Burgin. (The Harrodsburg Herald/Jennifer Marsh).

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

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Mercer County and Kentucky has been hit hard by this weekend’s torrential downpours, with severe flooding in Burgin and along the Salt River.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was forced to close US 68 towards Perryville between mile points 4.0 and 6.0  The road was reopened early Monday morning.

“Flooding on roadways was widespread,” said Chief Ric Maxfield of the Mercer County Fire Protection District. “We assisted in three water-related incidents so far this week.”

Maxfield said the Kentucky River still may be an issue as it continues to rise.

Extremely heavy rainfall was reported across the commonwealth, with more than six inches recorded in some areas.

Parts of Mercer County saw as much as five inches of rain, according to the Mercer County Sanitation District. The water level at Herrington Lake swelled from 730 feet to over 753 from 6 a.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Margie Brothers of Burgin said the water was still rising at her house on East Maple Street.

“It takes a good week to five days to go down even with the pumping,” said Brothers. “It came in so fast this weekend. It was like a river inside my house.”

Brothers called her son Ritchie Brothers to come help her deal with the flooding.

“I had to ask my son to take off work and help me move things out of the water,” said Brothers. “There wasn’t heavy rains last year so we didn’t have as much flooding.”

Brothers said she is worried flooding will start to be more consistent like 2018 and 2019.

High water levels have forced Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill to close both the River Road and Palisades Trails will be closed until further notice.  According to a Facebook post, there has been no severe damage. (Image: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill).

Across Kentucky, 34 cities and counties have declared states of emergency. Four emergency shelters and one warming center has been opened.

Swift water rescues were conducted in at least 42 counties. Water rescues continued Tuesday in Eastern Kentucky as crews cleared emergency routes of flood debris and landslides.

On Tuesday, there were still more than 5,592 Kentuckians without power, mostly in Martin County in Eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency. The National Guard was called to help move 91 people out of a nursing home in Salyersville and as many as 15 people had to be rescued from flooded homes and vehicles in Wolfe County.

The Red Cross helped more than 100 people on Monday with emergency lodging, including 60 people in hotel rooms and more than 40 people in three shelters. Red Cross volunteers are also providing meals and helping people with medical or disability needs and providing emotional support.

According to WYMT, The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is assisting businesses and family farms in need through partnerships with the American Red Cross and the Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund.

Donations can be made at any Community Trust Bank location or online at www.appalachianky.org

Tips For Severe Weather

(Taken from the Red Cross website. For more information, visit redcross.org.)

There are steps people should take to be ready if a weather emergency threatens their community. Planning is the key. They need to know what emergencies are most likely to happen where they live, learn, work and play. Being prepared is just a few short steps away:

1. GET A KIT. If you’ve ever fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout, you know what it feels like to not be prepared. You should include:

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water — one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit, medications and medical items
  • Copies of important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
  • Extra cash

2. MAKE A PLAN. Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet — one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

  • Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
  • Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.
  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.
  • Don’t forget your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

3. BE INFORMED. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.

  • Arm yourself with information about what to do in case an emergency occurs. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
  • Find out how you would receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency.
  • Learn first aid, CPR and how to use an AED so that you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed.

DOWNLOAD APPS. The Red Cross Emergency app provides real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid and Pet First Aid apps provide instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App for a fun way to teach children what to do in case of a flood, hurricane and other emergencies.

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