The flood trapped people before they knew what was upon them

Posted by | August 15, 2017

The Mountain Eagle


The death list of the terrific storm which swept Letcher County Sunday night has mounted to sixteen, with reports coming in which indicate that it may reach twenty.

Property damage cannot be estimated. Homes are destroyed, livestock and poultry drowned, and whole farms practically ruined. The fury of the flood far exceeded anything that has ever hit this area in its history.

Numbers of the dead have been found, but searchers are still at their gruesome task of tearing into drifts along the banks of the streams in hopes of finding bodies. Loved ones anxiously await some word from the searchers.

Mrs. Nannie Collins, on Rockhouse, died after her family had to be moved out of the home on account of rising water, but she was already at the point of death, and it is thought that the flood did not contribute to her death.

The bodies of the little Boggs child and Breeding child have not been found yet; but, so far as reports here go, all others have been recovered.

Pine Mountain storm in Letcher County KYOriginal caption reads: Letcher County, Kentucky. Thunderstorm on Pine Mountain.

The storm has left desolation in its wake. A large number of homes that escaped the death toll do not have food or clothing, except as it is furnished by neighbors, the L. & N. railroad and the Red Cross.

Train service has been cut off, telephone and telegraph service is practically destroyed, and the North fork of the Kentucky River is in a world by itself. The extent of the storm cannot be determined.

Nobody is going hungry, so far as is known. There is enough food in the valley to last several days, and arrangements have been made by which more supplies can be brought in through the Big Sandy valley if they are needed before the train service can be restored.

Volunteers are busy with rescue and reconstruction work everywhere, and a heroic effort is being made to heal the wounds inflicted by the angry storm.

Red Cross headquarters at Washington, D. C., volunteered help; and the local committee, under the direction of Chairman C. H. Burton, is furnishing aid wherever a need can be found.

Elsiecoal was the first place to be reached. The work there was turned over by Mr. Burton to Dr. Collier, railroad surgeon, who is taking care of the situation at that place.

All mining work has been stopped, and many men are out of employment. It is estimated by the operators that the work will be held up from a few days to several weeks, depending upon the extent of the damage at the different places.

The greatest loss of life and property was in the heads of small streams. It appears that the rain Sunday night came in cloud-burst fury, flooding the narrow gorges and trapping people before they knew what was upon them. It is in these isolated places throughout the county that the greatest suffering will result, men who are studying the situation say.


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