Since the devastating flooding in July, many communities throughout Eastern Kentucky have been working to recover, regroup and move forward. The Wayland community is one of these areas.
“Everyone is in different stages of recovery,” said Wayland Mayor Jerry Fultz. “It varies from individual to individual. Honestly, you would have to go door-to-door to get an overall accurate description. So, it really isn’t how Wayland is doing, it’s more of an individual matter. With that being said, as a community, generally we can say things are better. The flood mud is out of the streets and the highway. If you were to go through Wayland today, you wouldn’t know there was a flood by looking from a vehicle.”
However, Fultz said this is only the scene on the surface.
“Many homes have been cleaned out,” he said. “Walls, insulation and floors have been taken out of many homes to repair damages, basically down to nothing but the studs and floor joists.”
Fultz said some have begun the process of putting things back together: new sheetrock and flooring, and some are even moving appliances in.
“This is a good thing, but everyone isn’t to this point,” he said. “I wish I could say everyone is, but it’s not the case.
“We’re no different than any other community that was affected in the sense that this was an experience we are not accustomed to: Flooding, yes, but not to this level of severity. Floyd County was hit hard, the worst in our history, but many areas were hit a lot worse. We are talking about months, possibly years, before there is a total recovery from the devastation of this one event across these counties. That’s mind boggling.”
Fultz said he hopes this event will bring action.
“Even with all the pain and devastation that took place, I believe something good will come out of all of this,” he said. “We can’t prevent flooding all together. But, I’m hoping FEMA, the Corps of Engineers, the city, county and state will come together to try to lessen the impact, and potentially the chances of future floods. I hope that moving forward, we can identify these things, and take a step in that direction.”
Fultz said the way so many people have come together to help the area has been very impressive.
“From the government, to Washington, to Prestonsburg, people have come together to help,” Fultz said. “It’s a collective effort. That’s the only way we can get over it and move on.”