Conference prepares to respond with flood buckets, other aid

July 28, 2022
By Alan Wild

The Kentucky Annual Conference is mobilizing in response to devastating flooding from torrential rain overnight July 27-28 that has submerged hundreds of houses and businesses in Eastern Kentucky.

“Worst flood in my lifetime,” said Linda Gayheart, 79, a member of Hindman UMC who has lived in the area most of her life. Hindman, with about 700 people, is the county seat of Knott County.

“Homes destroyed and some washed away,” said Gayheart, a former Conference Associate Lay Leader. “The little downtown area looks like a war zone. Most of the businesses’ windows are all broken out. All buildings were flooded, some almost to the roofs.”

Rev. Karen Stigall, South East Kentucky District Superintendent, said she has been in contact with all the district pastors and Hindman is the only one that has been flooded. She said that besides Hindman, Whitesburg (Letcher County) and Jackson (Breathitt County) have been hard hit.

Jim Morse, the Conference’s Disaster Response Coordinator, said the Conference is coordinating with the American Red Cross and other organizations. The Conference will use flood buckets as needed and will also coordinate with UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Morse is working with the Disaster Relief Coordinators in the nine districts across the Conference on locations where churches can drop off flood buckets.

Northern Kentucky District: -
  • Immanuel-Boone Campus, 1440 Boone Aire Road, Florence, KY 41042
  • Central UMC Mission Center, 912 E. Second St., Maysville
  • August 3 (Wednesday):
    District Event at the Y’all’s Ball Game

    6-6:30 PM South Parking Lot (Go past the stadium after you enter)
    Look for Bev Ketron (Silver Silverado Truck) or Todd Smith (White Silverado Truck)
    (After 6:30, please call Bev Ketron at 859-907-1577 or Todd Smith  270- 378-0160)
  • Williamstown, 206 Paris St., Williamstown, KY 41097
  • Carlisle, 102 E Chestnut Street, Carlisle KY 40311
  • Carrollton Area - Carrollton Probation and Parole Office
    1209 Highland Ave. Suite U, Carrollton, KY 41008
    Thursdays (excluding August 4) 5:30pm-6:30pm (Cutoff Date is August 26)  NO OTHER TIMES AVAILABLE.  Please contact Melissa Smith upon arrival and/or if you are going to be late.  (270) 735-6712

  • Kentucky East -

  • Heartland District - 
    • St. Matthews UMC’s River City Campus, 4611 Lowe Road, Louisville.
      Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am-noon
      Wednesday Evening 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
      Special drop-off available on Mondays - Call Rev. Renee Jennings/Church Office to schedule
    • Owensboro District 
      • Wesleyan Heights UMC, 1215 Scherm Road
        9:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday - Thursday
        9:00 am - noon on Fridays
      • Leitchfield UMC, 201 W. Main St.
        Monday thru Friday, 8 am – 4 pm
        Call first, 270-259-4019 or 270-302-9001
  • Pennyrile District 
    • Ogden Memorial UMC, 305 W Main Street Princeton KY 
      8:30am – 3:30pm Mon-Thur  
      Or call 270-365-3528 to schedule a drop off.
    • Hanson UMC, 2740 Brown Badgett Loop Hanson KY   
      9-Noon Mon-Thur
      Or call 502-553-3306 to schedule a drop off. 
    • Petrie Memorial UMC, 202 E Main Street Elkton KY 
      9-Noon Mon—Thur
      Or call 270-265-2298 to schedule a drop off                                                                      
Other district drop-off locations are to be determined and will be listed as we get them.

The Central Appalachian Conference (formerly Red Bird) is planning to assemble 100 flood buckets ready to distribute by Tuesday, Aug. 2, Stigall and Morse said.

The flooding was caused by heavy rains overnight, with some areas picking up as much as 9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency in Knott, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Letcher, Owsley and Pike counties, calling it some of the worst flooding in the state’s history.

At least nine people were confirmed dead by late Thursday,  according to Beshear’s office, said many people remain unaccounted for. Search, rescue, and recovery efforts remain underway.