Flooding in Eastern Kentucky leaves hundreds homeless

PIKEVILLE — "It's just sad," said Johns Creek Elementary School Principal Kenneth Adkins, as he surveyed a dance studio, music rooms and science labs full of mud and damaged desks, books and equipment. "It's really discouraging."

After flash flooding and mudslides threw Eastern Kentucky into turmoil over the weekend, Pike County schools were closed Monday and Tuesday, and Adkins wasn't sure when they would be able to finish 13 days of school and a week's worth of testing for some students.

The story was similar across 15 Eastern Kentucky counties hit by the weekend's storms.

"We're just devastated," said Breathitt County Judge-Executive Jason Richardson.

Richardson said flooding destroyed the homes of 300 to 400 people. That number might go up because there were still roads blocked in the county, he said.

At midday, about 2,000 homes remained without power, Richardson said. There was a concern that some people on oxygen or with other health conditions hadn't had electricity since Saturday. Crews were working Monday to clear roads and restore power.

More than 21,000 people were without clean water, Gov. Steve Beshear's office said.

Beshear and Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers said they planned on Tuesday to tour areas of Central Kentucky damaged by a tornado and the flood-damaged areas of Eastern Kentucky.

Beshear said in a statement that he had given information about storm damage to Janet Napolitano, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on Monday.

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