Clogged creeks cause flash flooding, farmers ask for help

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus

LYON COUNTY, Ky. - They were caught off guard by rapidly rising water during last weeks flash flood.  Now they're searching for solutions to stop it from ever happening again.

The Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White says the problem lies in the creek.

Debris like logs and tree limbs, many of them from the Winter Storm of '09, keep piling up and are clogging up creeks, causing them to flood.

White says there are about five creeks across the county that have evolved into something dangerous. The debris gets hung in certain places, which disrupts the flow of water and causes these rocks to pile up. That causes the creek back-up and creates a disaster.

At Coleman Farms there's a lot to take in. Animals are everywhere.

Len Coleman says he almost lost it all to flash flood water last week.

"Come through our barn four feet deep, took our tack trunks and washed down the creek," Len said.

While family members are helping with the garden, some of Coleman's stuff is still scattered and a creek is the culprit.

Well, not the creek but the debris and rocks in it.

"The rock has built up and it doesn't have much room to go," Len said.

Judge Executive White said it's a problem across the county.  That's why there was a massive creek clean-up effort underway but the funding for that is all gone.

"We were on a list to get the trees cleaned out but they said they ran out of money," Coleman said,
 
Coleman is running out of hope that the county will ever get any more money for a creek clean up.  At least, he has help fixing the family farm.

"It's a mess but it can always be fixed," Coleman said.

White said his county would probably need about $60,000 to adequately clean the creeks.  He's looking into ways to get federal or state clean-up dollars.

If you live in Lyon County and live near a problem area, you are urged to call the judge's office.

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