State begins assessing weekend flood damage

At least 15 counties and four cities declared emergencies after flooding brought on by heavy rains over the weekend caused at least eight deaths and damaged homes around the state.

State officials were starting Sept. 25 to assess how much damage the storms caused, said Buddy Rogers, a spokesman for the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management in Frankfort.

Most of the flooding had subsided, and no more high water was expected, he said.

“It looks like everything’s kind of quieting down, and things are being handled on the local level right now,” Rogers said.

At least six of the deaths, including a father and his infant daughter, were related to vehicles stuck or skidding in high water.

Christopher Richardson, 31, of Hodgenville and his 1-year-old daughter, Hannah Richardson, suffered fatal injuries when their truck skidded into floodwaters off Interstate 65 near Elizabethtown.

Two women were killed in Lexington after trying to cross a flooded roadway early the in the morning on Sept. 23. Lauren Fannin, 25, of Lexington and Lindsay Harp, 25, of Frankfort, were pulled under by the current from a flooded creek and swept away, said Lexington Fire Battalion Chief Mat Ragland.

In Jessamine County, the body of Crystal Cook, 32, of Nicholasville, was found in her overturned pickup truck, Coroner Bobbye Ballard said. Ballard said Cook was driving through high water on Little Hickman Road when it was swept up in floodwaters.

The body of Rebekah Gresham, 29, of Waddy, was found in her vehicle, which was partially submerged in a swollen creek in southwestern Franklin County, according to state police. Juanita Curneal, 66, of Nortonville, died after her car hydroplaned on wet pavement the morning of Sept. 22 in Hopkins County. State police said she was thrown from her vehicle after the car struck a guardrail.

Ronnie Gardner, 59, of Hazel, became trapped when he drove across a flooded road in Calloway County in western Kentucky, and later died at a hospital from his injuries, the sheriff’s department said.

The flooding, triggered by 5 to 10 inches of rain that sent rivers and creeks over their banks, caused havoc around the state.

The National Weather Service reported most areas of the state had received at least 5 inches of rain over the weekend, with isolated areas getting close to 10 inches.

LG’E, which has about 1 million electric customers in Kentucky, said in a statement that all of its customers had their power restored by the morning of Sept. 24.