News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

[Audio] Hart County Tour Guide Recalls Cave Rescue

Lisa Autry, WKYU

One of the tour guides stranded by flood waters in a south central Kentucky cave says emergency plans already in place paid off  Thursday. 

Gary Russell was a mile deep into Hidden River Cave in Hart County when he saw water pouring through the cave’s passages. 

He and a group of geology students from Clemson University waded through rushing currents to safety after being in the cave for six hours. 

Russell told WKU Public Radio that he doesn’t think the incident could have been avoided.

"We got up that morning and checked the forecast as we always do.  We had a 30 percent chance of rain, so that's normal, and we always go in under that," Russell told WKU Public Radio.  "Storms make up their own minds sometimes, and as the day developed, the storm hit an hour sooner and it was more intense."

Russell says the group remained calm throughout the ordeal while waters rose to neck-level on some of the students.  He added that the rescue went according to the cave’s plan of action in the case of rising water. 

Waters receded Friday and the cave was able to reopen for partial tours.

Copyright 2016 WKYU-FM. To see more, visit WKYU-FM.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
Related Content