Magoffin County flooding forces nursing home evacuation, affects Mountain Parkway

Flooding from several inches of rain in Magoffin County shut down the Mountain Parkway on Saturday night and forced the evacuation of 115 people from a nursing home in Salyersville.

Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Parkway Drive will remain closed until it can be repaired and cleaned, said Captain Carter Conley of the Magoffin County Rescue Squad. Its residents were evacuated by bus to Herald Whitaker Middle School, Conley said.

“I would think it could take them a week to get back in there,” Conley said.

A woman who answered the phone at the nursing home Sunday refused to give her name or discuss the situation at the facility.

In other incidents, Conley said, his emergency crews rescued 18 people from homes and five people from vehicles late Saturday and early Sunday as local creeks quickly rose, swollen by rain.

“It’s been a deluge,” he said. “As quick as the water goes up, it goes back down. But people still need to learn not to drive through the high water.”

Also in Magoffin County on Saturday, mudslides forced the closure of a section of the Mountain Parkway, the primary route that connects Eastern and Central Kentucky. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reported the parkway reopened as of 5:45 a.m. Sunday, but many smaller roads throughout the region remained blocked by slides or high water, the cabinet said.

Rainfall total for the last five days in Eastern Kentucky was 4.13 inches, or 3.26 inches above normal, according to the University of Kentucky.

John Cheves is a government accountability reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader. He joined the newspaper in 1997 and previously worked in its Washington and Frankfort bureaus and covered the courthouse beat.
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