Floods wash away home in Knott Co., not 50 years of memories

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Whether you’ve lived in your home for a year, five years, or 50 years, we remember where we lived during momentous occasions in our lives.

That goes for our neighbors in Eastern Kentucky, whose houses might not be what they once were.

“There’s no saving them,” said Martha Hall as she flipped through what’s left of an old photo album.

“It’s all just — there’s just nothing left,” said her daughter, Paula.

“This was family land at one time,” Paula added. “My parents put a home here 50 years ago and now it’s a total loss.”

It’s what happens inside a house that makes it home. It’s the memories where mom and dad remind you to say cheese and look at the camera — the extra layer to capture the moments.

“People walk in all the time, you’re such and such’s granddaughter,” Paula said. “Or you’re such and such’s daughter. They know you by association.”

“You have your immediate family,” she said. “Then you have your distant family. And then you have your friends who are family.”

The house where Paula grew up in Leburn was picked up and taken away. The land barely resembles what was ordinary for half a century.

“Learned how to ride a bicycle here,” Paula said. “Moved away and went to college from here and came back home.”

The home is where she celebrated birthdays and many holidays. Those memories can’t be forgotten.

“I lost everything,” she said. “They lost everything. It’s like you need everything, but you don’t know where to start.”

Floods may wipe out houses, but they can never fully take away what was built in a home.

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