Estill food bank cut off by flooding

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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WDKY) – A big concern is how many parts of Estill County are cut off by flood water– countless roads and two of their main highways are closed in multiple sections.

“This is something that we haven’t seen in many many years so that’s a huge impact to us,” said Lucas Barnes, the Estill County deputy emergency management director.

So much of an impact that the Bluegrass Emergency Response Team was called in. It’s a group of first responders from 10 Kentucky counties, there to focus on swift water rescues and helping navigate the flood waters to areas unreachable by trucks.

“They still have several roads cut off by access to vehicles and ambulances and so if their need arises that we put paramedics and EMTs on boats to access people in parts of the county they can’t get to with an ambulance, that’s what we’re going to be here through the night to support those efforts,” said Corey Lewis, the public information officer with the Richmond Fire Department.

God’s Outreach Food Bank is one of those places in the county cut off by flood waters.

The president and founder of the food bank says he had to wade through the water to see the extent of the damage.

“I’ve been up here twice today and it’s up in the building about a foot and a half,” Anthony Lowery said.

God’s Outreach Food Bank’s mission is to help its community, feeding anywhere from 750 to 800 families a month in Estill County, who might otherwise go without a meal.

But recent flooding has them asking for help in return.

“We have a lot of damage inside. There’s an estimated $80,000 in value of food inside the building, most of that is probably destroyed,” Lowery said.

Lowery says monetary donations are what they really need right now to help get back on their feet.

Still, the food bank says this won’t make them miss a day of feeding anyone who needs a meal.

“So no one in the community will have to be concerned about not receiving their supplemental food and all of the emergency needs, we don’t ever intend to run out of food or resources and we depend on the communities to do that especially in times like now that we’ve never faced before here,” Lowery said.

Lowery is already preparing to continue distributing food on their normal weekly basis using mobile food banks.

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