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Plans are being created to move Some Eastern KY residents to higher ground

Feeding East Ky

Efforts are underway in eastern Kentucky to move some residential construction off low-lying riverbanks. Brent Handshoe is leading a new organization called Higher Ground Kentucky. He said the project involves Amish and Mennonite construction crews building homes for free.

“We’re just tired of mucking out homes and replacing drywall and carpeting and flooring. So, why do we want to keep repeating the same behavior over and over again. Let’s change it. Let’s make a different future for this place. If we can move homes off these creek banks, let’s do it,” said Handshoe.

Handshoe said the hope is to start building a couple homes in the next few weeks. He said there are plans to move 30 homes in Floyd County completely out of the flood zone.

Handshoe is also heavily involved in meal distribution as founder of Feeding East Kentucky. That organization has delivered some 70,000 meals over the past eight weeks.

“We soon realized, these people can’t get to us. We’re going to have to take it to them. There’s no bridges. The cars are washed off. They’re stuck in their homes trying to get the mud out or there’s just tons of situations that called for us to take it to their doors,” said Handshoe

Meals were initially delivered daily to families in counties like Pike, Letcher, Perry, and Knott. The program is now focusing on weekly deliveries. Handshoe said the availability of cooking facilities through Christian Appalachian Project has been a big help. Handshoe noted he would like to see a long-term feeding program established.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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