Video: Massive embankment failure spills ambulance into Ky. river
Multiple vehicles fell into the river after an embankment gave way at the Painstville City Garage
PAINTSVILLE, Ky. — Vehicles and equipment fell into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River after a massive embankment failure in Johnson County early Thursday.
The slide at the Paintsville City Garage is estimated at 100 feet wide and 500 feet long, according to Johnson County Emergency Management Director Gary McClure.
McClure said there were concerns about the embankment failure worsening, and people were trying to salvage other vehicles and equipment. Paintsville City Garage relocated equipment and staff to the Paintsville Utility Maintenance Building.
He said the River Road area is not residential and authorities haven't needed to evacuate homes due to the embankment failure. No one was injured.
McClure said it was the largest embankment failure in the county due to the flood.
An ambulance, a pickup truck, two dump trucks, lawnmowers, a wood chipper and yard maintenance equipment fell into the Levisa Fork. McClure said the building would "probably not" be usable after the slip. Officials were still evaluating the extent and cost of the damage.
Parts of the county and downtown Paintsville were underwater Monday after the weekend rain.
McClure said the water levels have receded, allowing residents to get to their homes by Wednesday night. He added the majority of roads were now passable, including Route 40 that was flooded.
Johnson County and Paintsville declared a local state of emergency Monday. Gov. Andy Beshear also declared a state of emergency. The Kentucky National Guard helped with delivering food and water.
McClure has seen six or seven floods since joining emergency management in 2003. The river this week was the highest he had seen it.
The Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River crested at 39.74 feet on Monday and began to fall. The flood stage is 35 feet. The county received more than 4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.
Several churches are helping with flood relief. Paintsville Church of Christ distributed $67,000 in cleaning supplies, food boxes, blankets, rakes, shovels, mops and wheelbarrows. Paintsville First United Methodist Church was giving out flood buckets to assist with cleanup. East Point Church of Christ will have cleaning supplies, clothing and other relief items Friday.
The county is collecting monetary donations to help homeowners affected by the flood.
Flood damage has spanned the state, destroying homes and businesses, displacing residents and resulting in one possible death.
(c)2021 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)