august 2, 2022

posted in: photography | 0

“I truly appreciate kindness. I appreciate people checking up on me. I appreciate a quick message. I appreciate those who ask if I’m okay. I appreciate every single person in my life who has tried to brighten my days. It’s the little things that matter the most.” ~ TinyBuddha

 

Eunice and Johnny

This might be one of my favourite photos. The floods in Eastern Kentucky last week cut off Hardburly in Perry County from the rest of the world. Dad’s first cousin, Eunice and her husband Johnny live in Hardburly. We’d gotten word they were safe from the flood waters, but we didn’t know if they were without food and water. Today, UK Special Collections and the UK Appalachian Center took a crew to Whitesburg to help rescue Appalshop’s mud-covered film archive. Photos of that later. I made it a point to go to Hardburly on the way home to check on Eunice and Johnny. The road into Hardburly had washed out in four places. Three had been repaired, but we had to get out and walk from the last missing bridge. I found my people alive and well. The Army National Guard has been flying hot meals into the head of the holler three times a day, plus drinking water and canned food. Their electricity is back on but not the water, and it looks to be some time before the last bridge is repaired. For now, foot traffic across the creek is the only way in. Ya’ll, there are no photos that can convey the magnitude of this flood. It’s no wonder that more than three dozen have been found dead, and many more dozens still missing. The water was deeper than you can possibly imagine. I’ve seen plenty of floods, but this is another level of disaster that nobody could prepare for. It’s going to happen again and again, and I will go find Eunice and Johnny every time. I love them more than I can say.

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