Gov. Beshear honors Lexington’s emergency response crews for flooding recovery efforts
He proclaimed more than 50 members as Kentucky colonels for their dedication to helping flooding victims
LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- The hard work of first responders continues as they help those affected by last week’s flooding in eastern Kentucky.
On Thursday, state leaders paid tribute to some of those local heroes.
Governor Andy Beshear stopped by the department to thank members of the swift water and mobile ambulance crews.
The crews performed more than 700 water rescues, and more than 1000 air rescues.
Among those was major Adam Sorrell, a rescue tech for the fire department. He’s used to going in to devastating situations for recovery efforts. Sorrell was part of the initial response to the flooding.
“We had a crew that rescued 8 people off of one roof. When they went back, the house was gone,” said Maj. Sorrell.
Major Sorrell says they rescued about 85 people, 21 dogs, and about 10 cats when crews first went down on Thursday.
The aftermath of downed trees, destroyed houses, and floating cars is one of the most horrific he’s seen.
“It was quite a scene to see that just the destruction that was going. We had cars floating by, a lot of debris in the water, which made boat operations very hazardous,” said Sorrell.
Sorrell was one of dozens of first responders recognized by Governor Beshear Thursday.
He proclaimed more than 50 members as Kentucky colonels for their dedication to helping flooding victims.
“Reaching people that were totally stranded. Without them, they would not be here on planet earth. We’re talking about 130 Kentuckians that are alive today because of this group,” said Governor Beshear.
This was the governor’s first proclamation since emergency response. He says there are more coming.
The award was humbling for Sorrell, but he says those efforts are just part of the job.
“Just happy to be a part of it. And happy to have a city that allows us to get there quickly,” said Sorrell.
Some of those crews are on seven day shifts still assisting in eastern Kentucky.
It’s going to take time and money to help those impacted. We asked the governor about a timeline or the possibility for a special session. He says its a matter of when one is called, not if.
He says hes been in communication with leaders from the hardest hit areas and they plan to bring significant resources to help. He says right now, under the current state of emergency they have resources available.