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In the small city of Hazard, the debris of destroyed homes shows just how powerful flash floods were

It is the incredible amount of water that has flowed through these Kentucky creeks that makes them so amazing.

I am standing at the banks of Hazard’s river.

I am at least 30ft above current water level. There is still mud and debris everywhere. Two nights ago, the water level was 10m (30ft) higher that it is now.

This extraordinary volume of water was rushing through the communities in this area of Kentucky.


It’s no wonder that the torrent had such a powerful force.

We were able to see the remains of Eunice Howard’s home a little further down the valley.

She has torn down the house she built with her husband 27 years ago.

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“I heard a sound and raised the window. I saw water. I knew I needed help.”

Image: Eunice H.

She started to sob, “I was in my house… She began to sob: “I was in the house…?” I replied, “Well my house will be okay ‘…”

She doesn’t know how she got out, and if she did, she would have probably lost her life.

Cortney Clemons was Eunice’s grand-daughter and wanted to demonstrate the power of water.

img alt=”Flooding, Kentucky” class=”sdc-article-image__item” intrinsicsize=”768×432″ loading=”lazy” sizes=”(min-width: 1024px) 1024px, 100vw” src=”” srcset=”×216/skynews-flod-hazard-kentucky_5850473.jpg?20220731022552 380w, 760w, 1024w, 2048w”/>

We walked along the river bank to the spot where the half-demolished house is now located, and I realized what she was trying to tell me. The house wasn’t built exactly where it is now.

She showed us a patch with cement gridding a few hundred meters away. It was the foundations for her grandmother’s house.

Image The foundations for Eunice Howard’s home

The building was literally picked up and transported downstream.

Our drone was up, and the path to destruction was obvious. This was just one example of the destruction inflicted on so many communities.

Eunice and Cortney were asked if they’d ever experienced this type of flooding.

Eunice, who has lived in the valley for over 50 years, said “Not at all…not in all our time there.”

Cortney said: “It’s very sad to see your childhood home and all its contents get washed away. Memories… All that stuff you can’t get back.

She stated that they would go “creek fishing” to locate items belonging to her late ‘pop”.

There are two things that I notice in every extreme weather report I do – and there have been many.

It’s always those who are the most vulnerable that are hardest hit. The weather can sometimes be discriminatory.

Last year in New York, the dead included those who lived in basement apartments.

Kentucky’s communities are poor and their homes are poorly built.

The second is that governments must rethink their building and planning regulations more urgently.

Extreme weather is becoming more common. Homes aren’t built to withstand it.

Although there is much talk about climate adaptation funding, it’s not enough for all communities that have been affected by the regulatory changes.

Climate change can be more than just reducing our emissions.


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