‘Desperate’ granddaughter shares photo of 98-year-old woman in flooded home

Mae Amburgey is 98 years old, and is from Letcher County. She was in her home with her son and grandson as the waters rose.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:06 AM HST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News) - A photo of an elderly woman sitting in her Kentucky home as it filled with water and a video of her rescue went viral.

The woman is 98-year-old Mae Amburgey. She was in her home with her son and grandson as the waters rose, Amburgey’s granddaughter, Missy Amburgey Crovetti told WKYT.

“People were just standing there watching, trying to get to my grandmother, and brother, and uncle,” Crovetti said. “The current was so swift.”

Crovetti’s brother took the now-viral photo of their grandmother. Crovetti said she wasn’t going to post it, but was desperate to get help.

“You just make decisions you would never make,” Crovetti said. “I would never post a picture of my grandmother looking like that in a million years. If I had known she was safe, I would never have put that picture on there. But I was desperate. You couldn’t get phone calls out to anyone, so I did it, and there’s been a worldwide response.”

From outside, neighbors were trying to get to the home, but the current was too fast and unsafe for them to get across.

“I didn’t know if my brother was alive for a while,” Crovetti said. “I had been told that they thought he had washed downstream, so I had six or eight hours where I was questioning.”

Fortunately, everyone made it out safely. Amburgey is being treated for a cut on her leg, but will be OK, her family said.

However, Amburgey’s home was destroyed, and the family is trying to figure out where she will stay next.

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