|By Dennis Brown
For the third week
in a row, severe storms passing through the area have resulted in damage in Lewis County.
The most recent storm system dumped an estimated five inches of rain in less than two
hours on northwestern Lewis County.
Overflowing streams and runoff damaged roadways, gardens and maturing tobacco fields.
High water also resulted in damage to Trinity Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel Church.
A propane tank adjacent to Trinity Methodist Church was floated off its foundation and
Robert Nash compared the Crooked Creek flooding Saturday night to a similar flash flood
in 1960. Nash said the water level in 1960b was slightly higher, but damage from
Saturday's rain was significant. More than half of Nash's tobacco crop was destroyed by
the rushing flood waters.
A second storm system dumped an additional inch of rain on the area Sunday morning and
prompted a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service.
High water deposited debris and stalks of tobacco at a depth of about four feet in one
of Nash's barns. Family members spent Sunday morning uncovering a mowing machine in the
barn, which had been covered by the debris left by the receding flood waters.
Cooked Creek Road remained impassible Sunday. Large sections of the roadway were eroded
away by the water. County road crews were busy making the roadway passable and opening up
ditches in the area.
Lewis County Emergency Services Director Carl Chaney said the damage was significant
and that the cost of repairs to the roads, bridges, drainage pipes and ditches would fall
entirely on the county.
Since the damage was so localized, the extent of the damage, Chaney said, was not
enough to qualify for assistance from state or federal agencies.
County Road Foreman Dane Howard entered Crooked Creek Road from the east end and
traveled as far as possible where the roadway was eroded so badly the four-wheel drive
pickup could no longer navigate the terrain.
Dennis Brown/Lewis County Herald
Trinity resident Robert Nash surveys
damage to one of his barns following flash flooding Saturday in that area. Debris was left
in the barn damaging several pieces of equipment and destroying tobacco patches following
Smaller four wheelers were able to traverse the area by traveling fields adjacent to
the roadway. Water continued to run down Crooked Creek Road at more than two feet deep in
A bridge approach at the mouth of Crooked Creek Road was completely washed away leaving
an 18-inch drop between the bridge floor and remaining fill. County road crews placed
gravel in the void to make the bridge passable and were grading the roadway to make it
passable for motorists.
In areas the force of the water raised up sections of asphalt and forced rock and
debris underneath. Some sections of blacktop were completely washed away by the force of
State road crews also made temporary repairs to Ky. Rt. 3309 where water from streams
Lewis County Sheriff Bill Lewis mobilized all deputies to survey the damage and ensure
the safety of residents in the area.
On Thursday, a storm pelted the Ribolt-Happy Hollow area dumping three inches of rain
in about 90 minutes.
The resulting flooding damaged roadways, driveways and drainage pipes in the area.
Several crops were also damaged as a result of the downpour.
See more photos on our storm damage page.