NKY firefighters return from devastated eastern Kentucky

Much of the region remains without electricity, cellular service or fresh water
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Firefighters from Northern Kentucky teamed up with search and rescue teams after devastating floods killed dozens in eastern parts of the commonwealth.

The Northern Kentucky All-Hazards Incident Management Team finished a nine day deployment with the Kentucky National Guard Armory in Hazard. Members from 17 Northern Kentucky jurisdictions demobilized and arrived back in the region Friday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Chris Alsip was with a team of 19. He says the next step for eastern Kentucky is cleanup and infrastructure restoration.

”People will tell you stories about their family members being unaccounted for,” Alsip recalled, “and you would look in the area and try and figure out exactly where these people might be.”

Alsip returned Tuesday after working five operation days in the area to help community members. Photos from his time there show his team responding to a railroad collapse and tending to a woman in dire need of oxygen. He says he was shocked at the height of the water.

”You were able to actually see the water lines were actually, you know, three feet above our vehicles,” he said.

Gov. Andy Beshear said in an update Friday that the death toll had reached 37.

Alsip says much of the region remains without electricity, cellular service or fresh water. He says his mission there makes a person appreciate the little things.

“People have their own prized possessions,” he said. “It’s not necessarily just, you know, they need dishes, they need food, they need water... It’s the things you can’t replace.”

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to eastern Kentucky on Monday.

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