Waist deep flood water accumulated in parts of Todd County early Friday morning—forcing road closures and rescue operations. WNKY’s Alissa Kendrick witnessed the devastation first hand.
"Joey Phillips, an employee of Tommy’s Quality Used Cars—a business caught in the flood waters—recalls, “About 25 minutes, [the rain] come up about a foot and a half. It was coming pretty good.”
Cars stranded, rescue boats, waist-high waters, and people trapped inside their homes… small town Guthrie, Kentucky looks unrecognizable Friday to those who call it home.
Sergeant Carl Dean Blumel of the Guthrie Police Department says officials and citizens, including, “Christian County Rescue Squad, Todd County Rescue Squad, Todd County Fire Department, Guthrie Police Department, Todd County Sheriff’s Department, volunteers, city employees, just everybody who wanted to help, we allowed them to help and they’ve been a great help to us,"—together, rescuing a total of eight people trapped in their flooded homes for hours.
Phillips recalls, “I got here at 6:30 [a.m.], so they were doing it here then, with the boats and stuff and moving people out.” “In 45 minutes,” Sergeant Blumel says, “as you can see, the road was completely submerged. It’s kind of heart-breaking, I’m not going to lie. I know the people that we pulled out, you know.”
You wouldn’t know it from being over on the other side of town, that just over the rail road tracks the water is waist deep or higher. Pets are finding higher ground in the homes and officials are rescuing people by boats, canoes, any means possible. They’re saying it’s beyond devastating and could take months or longer for them to get the whole town back together.
“To be honest with you, we didn’t know what we were going to do at first,” Phillips says, “and then everybody started showing up and then, you know, with everything bad going on in this world and then you come out here and look and everybody in the community is gathered and helped everybody out, I mean, all the material stuff can be replaced.”
Sergeant Blumel explains that, “the floors, you can feel them kind of sink in and giving away and so, it’s rough. These people are going through a really rough time right now.”
Although the floors may be faltering under the pressure of Hurricane Harvey’s touch, one thing isn’t… the strength of small town USA.
“We’re going to be back on our feet before too long,” Phillips says with a smile, “It’s not going to be that bad.”