Deadly Disasters Keep Striking Kentucky
By: Yifei Mei
Firefighters and National Guard crews have surged into eastern Kentucky day after day, rescuing hundreds of people who were trapped after deadly flooding.
The community of Bremen, Kentucky, was hit by a disaster, one of the worst tornadoes in state history hit this small town. The tornado hit Friday night in December, and many neighborhoods were ripped apart. Many homes were completely destroyed, but it’s not clear how many were hit.
The mayor of a small town, Hindman, came to help with the cleanup, Hindman is a little town in the eastern part of Kentucky. This town was among the hardest hit by this week’s floods. Immediately, the mayor of Bremen, Allen Miller began planning trips across the state with trucks full of supplies, even though his own community was rebuilding.
“I said, ‘You were here in December and helped us,’” Miller told the mayor of Hindman in a phone call. “‘Now it’s time for me to return the favor.’”
On Saturday, officials announced that at least 26 people had been killed during floods. It could take weeks for the full magnitude of human toll and physical devastation to become clear.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky,” Governor Andy Beshear said during a briefing in which he updated residents on the death toll and displayed a sense of exhaustion that many in the state have felt after the recurring disasters.
For example, an ice storm last year that cut off power to over 150,000 people in eastern Kentucky, a flash flood last July that left many stranded in their homes, and a tornado in December that left a 200-mile path of destruction that killed 80 people.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “I can’t give you the why, but I know what we do in response to it. And the answer is everything we can.”
Dan Mosley, the judge-executive for Harlan County, stated that his community experienced minor flooding, the worst destruction he saw was in Knott and Letcher Counties. “The pure catastrophic loss is hard to put into words,” Mosley said, “I’ve just never seen anything like this in my career or even my life.”