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Crews still working as flash flooding rocks far western Ky.

Jordan King of Nashville wades through water on U.S. 45 in Graves County on July 19 determine how deep the water is and whether her car would be able to make it through it. Ultimately, King decided to turn around and try an alternate route.
Hannah Saad
Jordan King of Nashville wades through water on U.S. 45 in Graves County on July 19 determine how deep the water is and whether her car would be able to make it through it. Ultimately, King decided to turn around and try an alternate route.

Flash flooding is continuing to impact far western Kentucky, where homes and roads flooded early Wednesday morning.

Double-digit rain gauge readings led to mass road closures throughout the Purchase Region – including in Carlisle, Graves, Hickman and McCracken counties. The road closures saw many area residents cut off from roads and from their homes, necessitating water rescues from local first responders.

Flood watches are still on throughout the region, including parts of western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southern Illinois, and extend through Thursday morning. For the latest updates, check the National Weather Service website.

Terry Womble works with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He was directing traffic in Pryorsburg, one of the towns in Graves County shut down by the flooding.

“You get 10 inches of rain, you just don’t know what to expect,” he said. “You just don’t have no place for it to go when it comes so fast.”

Stephen Boyken is the lead pastor of His House Ministries in Mayfield, a church that sheltered people in the aftermath of the December 2021 tornado outbreak and that’s now serving as a rallying point for flood victims.

“Our focus and our goal is to support our community, and so we’ve helped by providing a shelter but we’ve also been checking on people that we know,” Boyken said. “Our next step is providing relief materials to help people muck out or clean out their homes if there was flooding in their homes.”

Boyken expressed concern about people’s “felt needs” as well as their physical needs in the aftermath of the disaster.

“My concern as a pastor is how people feel going through something that similar to the tornado we had before, how it can trigger emotions and certainly bring about some fear. I know that there’s a lot of emotions people are feeling,” Boyken said. “Right now it looks like perhaps it’s not going to be as devastating as we thought it might be and so we would rather be overzealous in our response.”

While officials warned people to stay off the roads for safety, that didn’t stop Jordan King of Nashville, Tennessee, from trying to rescue her dog Boudreaux from her best friend’s home in Wingo, one of the cities hit hardest by the flooding.

King walked into a flooded section of U.S. 45, testing its depth to see if her vehicle could safely navigate the water.

“I’m just hoping that that little Toyota Yaris can make it,” she said as she weighed her options.

The water, at points, came up to above the hips of her 5 foot 8 frame. She ultimately decided to go a different route to retrieve her two-year-old Rottweiler/Husky mix.

“Find another way – I guess that’s all I can do, you know,” she said. “I’m just trying to figure out a way to get where I’m going. It’s just different … and that (meaning her walking into the water) was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”

King confirmed that she had safely retrieved Boudreaux late Wednesday afternoon.

Paducah’s National Weather Service office reported that Mayfield actually broke the state record for continuous rainfall in a 24-hour period with 11.28 inches. That bests a record set in Louisville in 1997 by nearly an inch.

A flash flooding emergency – which a WPSD Local 6 meteorologist reported was rare for the region – was declared for the towns of Wingo, Beulah, Dublin and Fancy Farm just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

"Major flooding like many have never seen is occurring," Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said while describing the weather event in a social media post early this morning.

Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency as crews continue to help people in western, central and eastern Kentucky impacted by flooding.

“Please pray for Mayfield and areas of Western Kentucky impacted by significant flooding from last night’s storms,” Beshear said in a release. “We’re working to assess the damage and respond. Just like every challenge we’ve faced, we will be there for all those affected. We will get through this together.”

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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