More than a thousand people have been evacuated from their homes over fears a Kentucky dam could burst following several days of strong storms.
The National Weather Service warned that should the Kentucky Highway 15, that sits on top of the dam, completely give way, it could lead to flash flooding.
Two state inspectors were said to be checking out the dam at Panbowl Lake in on Tuesday evening after reports of a failure.
A hospital and nursing homes have also been evacuated along with about 1,000 people who lived in the horseshoe of the lake.
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes over fears a dam could burst following several days of storms. Pictured, Panbowl Lake in Jackson, in eastern Kentucky
One local resident tweeted a photo that showed how flood waters had left their home cut off
Powell County, Kentucky, particularly areas around the Red River at Clay City, was hit especially hard
A vehicle is surrounded by floodwaters in the parking of the Johnson County Judicial Center in Paintsville, Kentucky
The worst-case scenario appeared less likley on Tuesday evening; with further evacuations suspended and officials saying they do not expect the dam to burst.
Flooding over the weekend led to the North Fork of the Kentucky river to rise adding pressure on the dam.
Two inspectors and a dam safety supervisor have been on site on site with sandbags placed along the areas that have eroded in an attempt to stem the flow of water under the highway, according to
‘Transportation officials and representatives from partner agencies have been on the scene monitoring the situation to ensure every appropriate action is taken to keep Kentuckians safe,’ said Chief District Engineer Corbett Caudill. ‘Transportation Cabinet geotechnical and engineering experts are en route from Frankfort to survey conditions and advise on next steps.’
The downtown area of the small village of Prestonburg in Floyd County, eastern Kentucky was deluged by floodwaters
This is RT 122 on the Spurlock side of Bucks Branch in Prestonburg, Kentucky
Sally’s Branch Road at Hal Rogers Parkway in London, Kentucky is impassable. There are many other roads covered in water
Water covers West Maple Street in Salyersville, Kentucky
Randy Fitch clears debris from a mudslide on Wheeler Lane in Johnson County, Kentucky following heavy rain
Video footage from boaters’ footage showed vehicles submerged by floodwaters from the Kentucky River with several feet of water into downtown Beattyville, in Lee County.
Rescue crews used county dump trucks to help people escape their homes.
It’s the worst river flooding in the region since 1957. It came after heavy thunderstorms pounded parts of Kentucky on Sunday and Monday, sending rivers out of their banks and leading to multiple water rescues, mudslides, road closures and power outages.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency Monday because of heavy rainfall across the state.
Flood waters surround Rockhouse Freewill Baptist Church in Johnson County
Catherine Castle stands on the porch of her home in downtown Paintsville, Kentucky as rising floodwaters approach
Floodwaters cover a parking lot on Euclid Avenue in Paintsville, Kentucky
Ricky Keeton, left, of the Oil Springs Fire Department, and Michael Oiler, of the Thelma Fire Department, make their way through floodwaters as they conduct a water rescue
Floodwaters cover a parking lot on Euclid Avenue in Paintsville, Kentucky
Michael Oiler, left, of the Thelma Fire Department, and Ricky Keeton, of the Oil Springs Fire Department, conduct a water rescue in Paintsville
Floodwaters cover the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Bridge Street in Paintsville
Water surrounds the Johnson County, Ky., Judicial Center in Paintsville
‘We are acting swiftly to ensure the safety and security of Kentucky families and to get the needed help to our communities,’ he said in a statement. He said 13 counties and cities had declared states of emergency and the Kentucky National Guard was activated and was assisting with high water emergencies.
In Magoffin County, Kentucky, the Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation center was among the places evacuated. The facility decided to evacuate residents to assure they remain safe, CEO Joshua L. Calhoun said in a statement to WYMT. He said residents were taken to either a middle school or a hospital.
‘While we do not have any water in the facility at this time and it is still accessible, due to the risk of flooding we made the decision to relocate,’ he said.
Severe or moderate flooding was forecast Monday on several rivers in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, including different locations along the Kentucky River southeast of Lexington, the National Weather Service said.
The road signs are barely visible after rain water flooded streets
An abandoned car is surrounded by floodwater on Kentucky Route 7 in Salyersville, Kentucky
Up to five inches of rain was dumped on parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Maryland, leaving residents stranded, roads washed out and buildings flooded.
Thunderstorms also brought damaging winds to Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, knocking down power lines and trees.
In central Tennessee, four adults and an infant were removed from a partially submerged truck that slid off a water-covered bridge in DeKalb County.
In addition, a child was injured in Nashville when he tripped over a downed power line while playing outside, officials said.
In West Virginia, flooding hit some areas that were ravaged by power outages from ice storms last month. Floodwaters inundated roads in more than a dozen counties, highways officials said.
Flood waters after nearly 3′ of rainfall shot south of London, Kentucky near Levi Jackson State Park & along south US 25 in the Fariston community
An intersection in Paintsville is flooded leaving homes cut off and residents stranded
The National Guard assisted with some evacuations in the Dunlow area of Wayne County. And about a dozen people had to be assisted at a church in the Kanawha County community of Cross Lanes on Monday after high water cut off access to a road,
In Roane County, residents in one public service district were asked to conserve drinking water after a flooded water plant broke down and was inaccessible.
The Clay Roane Public Service District said in a social media post that water tanks were dangerously low and cannot be refilled until the floodwaters recede and the problem is repaired.
Some schools closed or delayed classes because of flooding concerns and about 4,000 customers were without power in Kentucky and 2,000 West Virginia, according to poweroutage.us, a utility tracking service.
In Kentucky, firefighter Eddie Stacy was turning his firetruck around in the dark while responding to storm damage when he noticed a tiny light coming from the flooded Red River.
It was a cellphone a woman was waving from a car inundated with water that was rising by the minute.
Heavy rain across Appalachia has led to water rescues, mudslides, road closures and power outages
Road crews and members of the Frankfort, Kentucky fire department block traffic from traveling on Big Eddy Road as the Kentucky River washes over the roadway in Frankfort
From the air the true devastation of the floodwaters was revealed
Roads became rivers as nearby watercourses overflowed and covered the highway as seen here in Floyd County on Tuesday
Brodhead units have evacuated two homes on Chestnut Grove Road. Both residences are located next to the Dix River which is over its banks
Swiftwater rescue technicians were able to rescue a driver, passenger, and their two dogs in Wittensville, Kentucky
Firefighters were able to safely rescue the occupants of a car in Wittensville, Kentucky
The rescue by firefighters was all caught on on camera and posted to social media
Firefighters and the department’s water rescue team are on scene at KY 581 near Boyd Branch rescuing trapped homeowners. The roadway was completely blocked
Stacy and other members of the Hazel Green Fire Department sprang into action Sunday night, pulling five people from the car where water was up to the dashboard.
Among those rescued were a 17-month-old boy and a woman who appeared to be having a seizure.
‘We don’t do too much training on this water rescue. Instinct, it just kicks in,’ Stacy said.
Stacy was part of a storm-response unit cutting down a tree that had fallen onto a road in Wolfe County about 75 miles southeast of Lexington. But a mudslide started and Stacy was forced to move his firetruck.
Another rescue took place in Oil Springs, Kentucky
Floodwaters cover parking lots of businesses along Euclid Avenue in Paintsville on Monday
A street in downtown Paintsville, is flooded with a mud and floodwater covering the road
Tanner Ryles, left, and Ray Smith help move the furniture from their friend Kelly Sparrow’s home as the Kentucky River inches closer in Frankfort on Tuesday
Ray Smith helps to move the furniture from the home of his friend Kelly Sparrow as the rising Kentucky River inches closer
As he was turning around, Stacy noticed something in the floodwaters just down the road – a woman sitting on a stalled car’s door window, waving her cellphone flashlight and yelling for help.
‘Nobody could hear from where she was,’ Stacy said. ‘That little flashlight when I was driving down the road just caught my attention. It was God, I tell you. It was God to have me in that place where I was supposed to be.’
Stacy attached a 100-foot rope to the truck and himself and helped retrieve the car’s occupants. Wolfe County Sheriff Chris Carson used a front-end loader to lift out the woman who had the seizure. The car’s occupants were brought to the nearby fire station to be checked out by emergency technicians. The woman with the seizure eventually recovered, Stacy said.