Flooding in Eastern Kentucky: ‘What I have seen has broken my heart’

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team visits churches and residents impacted by floods.

PDA National Response Team members Dave Doehnert and the Rev. Donna Melloan spoke with the Rev. Beth McCrary of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg, Kentucky on Aug. 5, 2022 after it suffered devastating flooding during storms at the end of July. (Photo by Rich Copley)

LEXINGTON, Kentucky (PNS) — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team (NRT) members visited areas of Eastern Kentucky impacted by devastating late July floods late last week and early this week to offer support and help plan long-term recovery efforts.

“What I have seen has broken my heart,” NRT member the Rev. Donna Melloan said in the sanctuary of Buckhorn Lake Area Presbyterian Church, also known as the Log Cathedral, in Buckhorn, Kentucky, after a day and a half in the region.

On Friday and Saturday, Melloan and fellow NRT member Dave Doehnert met with people at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg, Kentucky and the Buckhorn church to hear stories and concerns and offer support and guidance for next steps.

In subsequent days, the team was set to meet with other communities in the Presbytery of Transylvania, including people outside of population centers who have a harder time accessing resources and support, to assess their needs.

“PDA will be here for the future, to help with the rebuild, to help house volunteers, and to try and bring in some of that hope to these communities that they can survive,” Doehnert said.

See the video, above, or here for more from the NRT members and more from people impacted by and responding to the floods. And you can go here to give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s response to the flooding that has impacted Kentucky, Virginia, and Missouri.