Flash flooding damaging homes, no solution in sight

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

ARLINGTON, Ky.- Mud still clings to the concrete surrounding Bev Carnell's home in West Arlington. She said it will takes weeks to wash away.She knows because the flood waters have come before and unfortunately she knows they'll come again.

She and the rest of the community can agree that flood patterns have changed in recent years, but not everyone can agree on why. Most think it has something to do with a ditch that separates a farmer's field from residential homes, but no one knows who's responsibility it is.

"You're angry and mostly frustrated because you go to the city and they say the ditch belongs to the county and the county says it belongs to the city," said Carnell.

Mayor Bobbie McGee admits it's confusing, but said he and the judge executive are willing to work together to find a solution. However, they need help to figure out what's causing the flooding and help finding the funding to pay for it.

"We have tried everything," he said. "The judge has been working with the Corp of Engineers. I really don't know what they've accomplished."
 
They have sent letters to Capitol Hill, specifically Congressman Ed Whitfield and Senator Rand Paul, but have not heard anything back.

A spokesperson for Whitfield's office said they had not received the letter yet because of the security screening process physical letters have to go through before getting to the correct office.

Carnell said that only adds to the frustration.

"It shouldn't be happening and it doesn't have to happen," she said. "It's not because we've gotten some rain." She thinks it's because of the draining tiles the farmer installed in the field.

The owner of the farm was not able to comment, but an employee disputed the allegation. He said the drains back up when the water in the ditch is high or over-flowing. He also said that they are willing to help fix the problem when a solution is reached, but to his knowledge the Army Corps has to be the one to make the call.

McGee, along with Judge Executive Greg Terry, are meeting with the farm owner next week.

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