600 Helicopter Rescues, 39 Deaths reported in region savaged by historic flooding
When the first reports of catastrophic flooding were hitting the airwaves, KANPNM members were already thinking about how the Association could be a source of help during the crisis.
KANPNM Secretary Karen Scheich had made connections in Hazard with a clinic and was making lists of the supplies they needed most urgently. In an environment where homes, businesses and clinics were still underwater, full of mud or moved from their foundations -- the basics were now of premium importance to the clinics that were now operating in the middle of the flood zone.
Thermometers, supplies for wound care, bandages, glucometers and testing supplies, OTC cold and flu meds, ibuprofen and antibiotic creams, sponges and saline were the top items on the request lists.
"It was days before we were able to make contact with one of our regional directors in the area as the whole communications network had been damaged by flooding," said Jill York, KANPNM Executive Director.
Finally, contact was established through Facebook messaging and Hazard Regional Director Alicia Cook, who lives in Whitesburg. "The first time I spoke with Alicia after the flooding, she was out in the community going door-to-door doing vaccinations," York said in reference to the need to make certain that anyone in the flood waters or mud left behind were up to date on tetanus and Hepatitis A.
With a list of needed supplies and active links in place, the Association sent out the call to members to donate a few dollars to enable KANPNM to purchase the requested supplies and get them delivered to clinics in Hazard and Whitesburg.
Donations from APRNs -- and by extension their friends and families -- arrived quickly.
By August 5, 2022, Karen Scheich, whose leadership enabled such speed in response to need, was packing boxes full of med supplies made possible by APRN donations and getting them set for delivery. Karen had even located a family friend to drive the supplies to the clinics.
The med supplies were welcomed at locations in both Hazard and Whitesburg.
Thank you to each of you whose generosity and efforts enabled this relief effort to take place!
Thank you for your energy and contributions as we work to make sure these communities have the supplies they need to address the many needs and challenges of the coming days.
KANPNM asks that any of our members in the flooded regions aware of needs that med supplies or other relief items might address and make the Executive Director aware as further opportunity to help exist.
See how you can help: Donation links are here
MORE ABOUT THE FLOOD EVENT The National Weather Service describes the "Historic Flooding" event in east Kentucky
"Between July 25th and July 30th, 2022, several complexes of training thunderstorms developed south of I-64 and brought heavy rain, deadly flash flooding, and devastating river flooding to eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia. These thunderstorms, at times, caused rainfall rates in excess of 4"/hr across complex terrain that led to widespread devastating impacts.
While it did not rain continuously during this 4-day stretch, the overwhelming amounts of rain and resultant flooding led to 39 deaths and widespread catastrophic damage. Entire homes and parts of some communities were swept away by flood waters, leading to costly damage to infrastructure in the region. Over 600 helicopter rescues and countless swift water rescues by boat were needed to evacuate people who were trapped by the quickly-rising flood waters. In total, 24 Flash Flood Warnings were issued between July 26th and July 30th. Between the evening of July 27th and the mid-morning hours on July 28th (the peak of the event), 13 warnings were issued, 3 of which were upgraded to a Flash Flood Emergency.
Radar-based rainfall estimates suggest that upwards of 14-16" of rain fell during this 5-day period in a narrow swath, with many more locations receiving 6-10" of rain. Most of this rain fell during the night of July 27th into the morning of July 28th, which is when the most devastating impacts were felt. The highest totals occurred across an axis that stretches from northern Clay and southern Owsley counties, east through southern Breathitt and northern Leslie counties, into Perry, Knott and Letcher counties. The highest rainfall total report was from southern Knott County, where 14.00" fell between July 25th and July 29th."