LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Eastern Kentucky remains in the recovery process following severe floods that ravaged the area last summer.
Since that time, a crisis response organization has had boots on the ground helping rebuild homes and communities.
It’s hard to put into words the destruction the floods caused the counties in Eastern Kentucky.
“It’s something that I never thought I would ever see—when you go into a community and the bridges are gone,” said Malva Crawford-Gorman, an area director for the nonprofit called CORE.
For over two decades, Crawford-Forman has called eastern Kentucky home. Right now, she lives in Hazard.
“I don’t think there was a family that wasn’t somehow affected by the flood,” Crawford-Groman said. “Last summer, the saying was: ‘These are my mountains, these are my people.’ That’s what we are right now. That’s what CORE represents.”
The torrential rainfall last July killed over 40 people and put hundreds of houses and cars in creeks.
“The biggest need that we have here in Eastern Kentucky is housing,” Crawford-Gorman said.
She explained that even before the floods, housing options lacked in the area and now it’s even more scarce.
“We don’t have a lot of rental property here in Eastern Kentucky. People are just trying to put their hands back together the best they can,” Crawford-Gorman said.
So far, they’ve helped more than 1,000 people through FEMA, filing appeals to get more resources.
“We just recently got a FEMA list of 8,000 potential applicants. So we will be reaching out to them, checking on their progress, seeing where they’re at,” Crawford-Gorman said.
The nonprofit said they’re running a local program that connects families with resources, whether it be grants or supplies. CORE said their program has been extended until Dec. 2023.