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Experts come to eastern Kentucky to help flood victims salvage family heirlooms


Some people lost nearly everything they own in the recent floods in eastern Kentucky. Experts have come into the area to help people salvage and even do some light restoration on some of their family heirlooms and documents.

Members of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force have come to help. They are tied to both FEMA and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Nana Kaneko is a specialist with the organization. She said there are many items they can help with.

“Family photographs, books, grandma’s wedding dress, the family Bible. We offer these tips and tricks to salvage these objects so they’re not necessarily returned to pre-disaster conditions, but ways to be able retain those memories that may have potentially been lost by the disaster.”

She said eastern Kentucky is steeped in tradition you cannot find anywhere else.

“It’s really important to work to preserve what is important to the actual people in any given area, Kentucky in particular has all these wonderful cultural traditions that, if we can at least play a tiny part in keeping those traditions alive it is incredibly rewarding.”

Kaneko said they will not be doing any preservation or restoration but are offering guides for people to do it themselves. All people need to do is show up and they can learn how to try and salvage their items. She says if people want to go deeper in the salvage or restoration process, they can point them to other resources.

The task force will be operating at the Clay County Community Center in Manchester, The Knott County Sportsplex in Leburn and the Hazard Community College First Federal Center in Hazard until Sunday.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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