West Kentucky flooding update and how you can help

I can’t thank you all enough for your kind words and prayers over the past week.

The downtown Paducah floodwalls on May 3, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Paducah Power facebook page)

When I wrote about how I was tracking the flooding via social media, I had no idea that I would have friends and readers across the country tracking it right along with me.

I’ve gotten so many phone calls, emails and facebook messages from folks asking how my family is doing and if there is anything that they can do to help.

So here’s an update on the situation:

The rain has stopped, for now. We’re praying that this weekend’s forecasted rain will disappear.

My family is fine. The rain has been inconvenient and I’m sure my sisters are tired of having to check on cattle in the rain but we haven’t had any flooding. Overall, my hometown is in very good shape.

As you know, Aaron and his family live and own a restaurant in Paducah. Paducah lies where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet so flooding has been a major concern.

We’re very lucky that Aaron’s entire family lives on high ground so none of them have been displaced.

Their restaurant is very close to Clark’s River and though there have been many rumors that Clark’s River will overtake Clark’s River Road in front of the restaurant it has not yet and we don’t expect it to.

As of Monday, the major concern was whether or not the flood walls around Paducah would hold. Since the Bird’s Point levee breech, the expected river crest levels have lowered drastically and the corps of engineers said that the flood walls should be fine.

My heart goes out to the many farm families who have lost everything in the Bird’s Point levee breech.

Though I am thankful that the breech lowered our expected river crest levels, I can not imagine what it must be like for these families to lose not just their homes and livelihoods but generations of family farm heritage. You are in my prayers.

Many of you have asked how you can help the hardest hit areas of this disaster.

If you’re from the West Ky. area but not directly affected, I’d encourage you to volunteer your time sandbagging, helping at a local shelter or assisting families as they evacuate.

Aaron says that many folks have stopped by the restaurant after lending their trucks and trailers to help families in Livingston County evacuate. Its great to see the community pull together to help each other.

Due to all the sandbagging, there is a shortage of sand and bags.

If you can supply any of these materials or just want to volunteer your services, call the McCracken County Emergency Operations Center office at 448-1500 and they’ll tell you where you are needed.

West Kentucky Star is doing a great job of keeping volunteer opportunities posted and up to date. If you’d like more information, I would check out this page.

There are some local businesses helping out as well.

Patti’s Inns and Suites offered discounted rooms to evacuees but viewer posts on the WPSD facebook page say that they have run out of vacancies.

In Paducah, the Little Caesars on Lone Oak Road is donating $5 worth of food to rescue workers for every $10 you spend.

If you aren’t from this area but would like to provide financial assistance, you can donate to the Paducah Chapter of the Red Cross. These donations will be used to assist flood victims in West Ky.

There are also “cleaning supply drives” going on. I haven’t found many specifics on these yet but as soon as I do I will pass them along.

I know that they are accepting bleach, household cleaning products, mops, buckets, brooms, rakes, sponges, paper towels, garbage bags, insect repellant and sunscreen.

Even once the flood waters receed there will still be a long road to recovery and these supplies will be very helpful.

I’ll update this post with more ways to help as soon as I get more information.

If you have any suggestions on other ways to help, feel free to comment them below.

Again, I can’t thank you all enough for your kind words and prayers through this tough time. Please keep them coming!


Comments

West Kentucky flooding update and how you can help — 4 Comments

  1. So glad to hear your family & Aaron’s may be spared as well as others in Western Kentucky. THere are tough stories all through the river basin this spring, where they usually are more isolated. Its had my head reeling here in the Mid-South. I’ve posted a few things, most recently a photo series of downtown Memphis. It hurts to know so many people are losing homes, their places of employment, sometimes everything they’ve worked a lifetime for. But we will all come out of this with more resilience knowing how many others have extended caring hands.

  2. Hi. Can you tell me if the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has been flooded?

  3. Sweet- I have not heard or seen any reports about flooding at the gaseus diffusion plant. If I do hear of any I will post them here.

  4. Thank you VERY much! I live in West TN and I am just trying to keep my eyes and brain, not only on the water, but all the contaminants that are coming with it also.

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