About 250 people gathered for a vigil Monday evening in Morehead as search and rescue crews continued looking for an 8-year-old boy who was swept away Sunday by flood waters.
The boy had not been found as of 6:30 p.m., officials said. Crews continued searching until dark, and planned to resume Tuesday morning.
“You wouldn’t believe the outpouring we’ve had to find this little boy,” said Morehead Mayor Jim Tom Trent. “We’re not giving up hope.”
About 60 volunteers from the community helped search for the boy, Trent said. People who want to volunteer Tuesday can register at the county courthouse, starting at 8 a.m., Trent said. He asked that volunteers bring a tough pair of pants and boots.
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Rescue teams used boats to search Triplett Creek Monday, near where the boy was last seen Sunday afternoon. Morehead Fire Department Chief Jeff Anderson said teams will continue the search on foot as water levels decline. Crews also are using drones and dogs to search for the child, officials said.
The boy was carried by high water into a small creek about 400 yards from the larger Triplett Creek, which runs alongside downtown Morehead.
About 250 people gathered in Morehead Monday evening for a vigil for the boy, whose name has not yet been released.
Trent led the group in prayer, and thanked them for showing support for the family.
Ruby Banks Daniels, who attended the vigil and helped search for the boy Monday, said the child had previously attended a vacation bible school at Charity Free Will Baptist Church in Morehead, and that he was “very happy and excited.”
Daniels said she hopes the vigil will reassure the family that the community is thinking of them during this difficult time.
“There are still good people out here who pull together,” Daniels said.
Flooding caused damage throughout Eastern Kentucky Sunday and more storms are possible later in the week, according to the National Weather Service.
Some homes and businesses in the Morehead area also were damaged, including Brush Strokes, a salon near downtown.
Kerrie Tackett, the salon’s owner, said she will have to relocate her business due to the extensive damage. During the flood’s highest point, about four inches of water inundated her salon.
Tackett and her family spent Monday afternoon removing furniture from the salon and washing it with water from the tap.
Tackett said she didn’t expect the water to get as high as it did Sunday, but that her business has been flooded during previous periods of high water.
During a flood about three years ago, Tackett said the water got as high as four feet.
“I have all my children, so I can’t really complain too much,” Tackett said.
The Fazoli’s in Morehead offered free meals to flood victims Monday, said restaurant manager Brandy Hogge.
Fazoli’s owner Dan Markwell decided to offer the meals to anyone who received property damage from the flooding or who was otherwise affected “to do something good for the community,” Hogge said.
About 40 or 50 customers who visited the Fazoli’s through lunchtime Monday had been affected by the flooding, Hogge said.
Charlie Rister, who was eating at Fazoli’s Monday afternoon, said his power went out about midnight and had not yet been restored. He and his son live about ten minutes outside of Morehead.
“It’s really nice that they’re doing this,” Rister said. “It’s good to know people are supporting us.”