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Knott County resident says flood recovery continues one step at a time

Sassafras Kentucky resident Penny Fields
Stu Johnson
Sassafras Kentucky resident Penny Fields

The long road to recovery in eastern Kentucky from last year's deadly summer flood continues. Penny Fields along with her niece live in the community of Sassafras in Knott County. Her house sits at the base of a mountain with a deeply cut creek on the other side of the road. Fields saw the signs of disaster near her house that July night.

 “The reason we knew it was so bad is standing here, you can’t see our little stream from here. But, standing on this porch, we could see it gushing. It was just gushing up and I ever made a comment to her, if we can see this here they’re in trouble down the street here..down the road,” said Fields.

Fields’ house crawlspace didn’t get water from the creek, but instead, from the large amounts of water coming down the mountain.

Fields said slowly but surely the rebuilding in the Knott County area is occurring.

 “I know three families, one of them was a cousin that everything got washed away. She got a new home in one of these communities where they’re building back homes now. She received a new home. She’s got a new baby now. She’s got a little boy and now she’s got a new baby,” said Fields.

 Fields works in a doctor’s office and said two patients have been approved for yet-to-be-built houses.

 Fields remembers one of the more impactful moments came with the lighting of lanterns in memory of 22 flood victims in her county.

Here's more with Knott County native Penny Fields:


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