Rainy weather has caused a few headaches in Floyd County this week, but no significant damage had been reported as of print deadline on Thursday.
Rain soaked the region starting Feb. 3, and continuing through this week, prompting Gov. Andy Beshear to declare a state of emergency in Perry and other counties.
Flooding of roads throughout the county prompted the closure of Floyd County Schools on Thursday, as well as several county roads.
Floyd County Emergency Management Director Tim Fields reported prior to print deadline on Thursday that the water has caused problems, but he has received no reports of any damage to homes or businesses in the county.
A storm that pummeled the region on Wednesday night toppled trees in Prestonsburg, Fields reported.
“Mainly what we’ve had so far is just covered roads,” he said.
Fields encourages residents to drive safely when flooding occurs.
“It’s just not worth it. We’ve seen too many cars float off,” he said. “I mean, I don’t know where the people are going, but it’s not worth what they’re risking. You’d be surprised how quick a car will float.”
He said six inches of water could be enough to make a car float downstream.
On Thursday morning, he reported high water prompted closures of Ky. 122, Ky. 194 and on Main Street in New Allen, where a clogged culvert is expected to keep the road closed for a few more days near the block plant.
“They’re holding water at Dewey, so, the German Bridge area on Ky. 194 is covered, and they may get some more when we get a little more rain,” Fields said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Dewey Lake reported officials received a directive Wednesday afternoon to start holding back water at the lake. The water level was 650.75 feet and was expected to increase Wednesday afternoon.
“Dewey Lake’s elevation has risen approximately 650.75 feet With flooding of the Big Sandy in Ashland we have gotten the directive to hold water. With forecast calling for more precipitation in the next few days we are expecting to see the lake levels increase quickly. Please be aware of increasing lake levels and vigilant of your surroundings at all time,” Lake Project Assistant Jennifer Lewis reported in an email Wednesday.
She reported that at 654 feet, the Terry Boat Dock at the lake will be covered. At 654.5 feet, Ky. 194, (Johns Creek) will also be blocked.”
At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, the lake elevation was 655.36 feet, which is more than 10 feet above the lake’s normal winter pool. The elevation rose 4.52 feet over the past 24 hours, the Corps reported.
Flooding has also hampered activities at Archer Park, which frequently floods each year.
Park Manager Ritchie Schoolcraft, the captain of the Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad, reported that the park was flooded twice during the Christmas season and flood waters have covered the park throughout this week.
He said the park floods about three or four times each year, but it hasn’t reached the skating rink or pool area since 1984 and 1977. In 2016, he said flood waters came about a foot of reaching the buildings on that side of the park. The city maintains insurance policies for flooding, but those policies will only reimburse flood-related costs if the buildings are flooding, Schoolcraft said.
He praised the Prestonsburg Fire Department, which helps the park recover when it floods. He said after floods, shelters, equipment and sand in the parks playgrounds have to be disinfected.
The National Weather Service in Jackson reported that the rainy weather is expected to end, with dry weather forecast to return this weekend.