Steps toward community recovery in Lee County

BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s been weeks since the flooding in eastern Kentucky but some are still in recovery mode.

Officials in Lee County have started looking into options to protect the city from the next big flood.

Beattyville has seen millions of dollars in damage caused by flooding so officials sat down Thursday to discuss some ways to protect the community.

“It was severe flooding. I came over a few days later and it was a devastating picture and it’s historic. They’ve been doing this almost every year,” Rogers said.

Congressman Hal Rogers and members of the Army Corps, including engineers, are discussing options to prevent major flooding. One of those options is a flood wall.

Rogers has requested a $1.25 million earmark for a study.

“This is for fiscal ’22 so we still have to get the money passed through the appropriations process but I feel confident,” Rogers said.

Another hope for a positive impact in the community is the possibility of the Lion Apparel factory reopening and providing more jobs.

Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill says a decision needs to be made.

“Any business coming to Lee County is going to help the community. In this case, they’re returning to Lee County, if they return and in order to make that happen. Beattyville Mayor Scott Jackson, Kentucky River of Area Development District, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, all of us are sitting down trying to find ways to make Beattyville as attractive as possible,” Caudill said.

He says bringing Lion Apparel back to the area will help create career paths for people who want to work in the textile industry.

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