‘I felt helpless’: Kentucky family survives floods after stranded on hill for 16 hours

A Kansas woman said she spent 16 hours on a hill with her grandmother to escape rising floodwaters. (Source: WKYT)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:18 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:29 PM HST
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News) - A woman in Kentucky is sharing her harrowing story of how she escaped rising floodwaters last week with her grandmother.

Naomie Williams told WKYT that she was with her 82-year-old grandmother, Carylon, when the flooding started in their southeastern Kentucky neighborhood.

“When we walked out in it, it hit us chest deep,” Williams said. “The whole time, I was saying, ‘please let me make it back home to my family.’”

Williams said the two were treading water for over an hour, trying to reach a hill behind their home.

“I can’t describe the feeling that I felt in the water. I felt helpless. It was so strong, but we made it out of there because of the Lord, honestly,” Williams said.

She said there wasn’t much to grab onto as she tried to keep herself and her grandmother, who can’t swim, above water.

“It was just a limb, not even a tree; a limb is what we held. Somehow, I managed to pull us both up out of the water,” Williams said. “We got onto the hill but couldn’t stay steady for more than a few minutes as the water kept rising. So, it was like a continuous climb up a steep mountain.”

She said their climb lasted 16 hours until emergency crews arrived.

“The next day, the rescue squad came and got to us. It was the best day of my life for sure,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the two suffered a few scratches and poison ivy in the ordeal but were both very happy to have survived the dangerous flooding.

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