Carlisle continues to rebuild after flooding

CARLISLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Early in the morning on July 30th, historic rains led to one of the worst flooding Carlisle had seen in decades, claiming one life, destroying 75 homes, and damaging dozens of others. Now, the City of Carlisle is awaiting approval for federal funding, which it says is desperately needed to rebuild.

“We’re all keeping our fingers crossed hoping and waiting on Washington to say ‘yep, we’re going to come in, we’re going to review the houses, we’re going to help these people get back to normal,’ if there is a normal to get back to,” said Carlisle Mayor Ronnie Clark.

According to City of Carlisle Volunteer Fire Chief James Biddle, the flooding Carlisle experienced last month was the worst the city had seen since the 1930s.

“When you got five to seven feet of water on Main Street…I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen that before,” said Biddle.

For Chief Biddle, the biggest issue is helping homeowners decide whether to rebuild.

“They need to decide what they’re going to do, whether they are going to tear down and rebuild or what they’re going to do. Now the ones off the foundation obviously have to be torn down,” said Biddle.

Among the hardest hit areas in Carlisle is KY-1285, off East Main Street. According to Chief Biddle, the homes in this area experienced about seven feet of flooding, with many of the homes sliding off their foundations. Many of these homes have been condemned by the city, and a spray-painted red “X” marks them.

James Howard, a Carlisle resident for most of his life, lives on KY-1285 just a few doors down from many of these condemned houses. He experienced extensive damage to his house and his prized possessions, his two vintage cars. Now, he’s working on rebuilding.

“It stood a lot of damage to the house and the cars. But I still got them. I’ll eventually get it put back together,” said Howard.

The City of Carlisle is unsure whether it will ever return to normal, but the community is working together to build back as best as it can.

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