HINDMAN, Ky. — Thirteen days ago, the lives of those in eastern Kentucky were changed by catastrophic flooding.

What You Need To Know

  • Families and communities are recovering from devastating flooding

  • Thirteen days ago, catastrophic flooding rocked eastern Kentucky

  • Jeremy Haney carves and builds instruments

  • The floods destroyed their guitar building school 

Now, with a new week underway, clean-up and recovery continues in Knott County and other counties in the region, including in Hindman where a music school for string instruments is salvaging the few guitars and other pieces that went unscathed by the flood waters.

“Well, that one’s out of tune,” said Jeremy Haney, who works on guitars.

He spent much of the afternoon scrapping off the rust that had formed on machines he uses to carve string instruments.

“This particular place here is where I learned how to build guitars,” Haney said.

For a little over three years now, Haney and others at the Appalachian School of Luthiery have created beautiful wooden instruments.

“And I build my first guitar. It was right here at a bench that’s no longer there,” Haney said.

Most of the guitars and string instruments were in the middle of being finished, but now are covered in mud while another team lays the cases outside to dry.

“These are not the only the guitars that you see, there’s just a few that they’re going to try to get to after they get to the ones that they can save,” Haney said.

Jeremy Haney says it's hard to look at all of his work along with his colleague's work damaged by the floods. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

These projects have turned into piles of wood, all while saving what they can.

“It’s all hard to look at, especially when I had been working toward building my life here in this community,” Haney said.

He often struggles to keep hope.

“Part of me says you know, there ain’t no hope. It’s all lost. That’s just the tangible part me of things I can see,” Haney said. “The spiritual part of me that knows there’s always hope within a bad situation. It’s always blessings that come from a bad situation [that] tells me that this place will be built bigger and better than it’s ever been.”

The Appalachian School of Luthiery is also connected to the Troublesome Creek’s Manufacturary that makes the fine stringed instruments. It’s also seen a lot of destruction that the founders are working to rebuild and repair.