Heavy rains cause flash flooding in city, county

Steve Cornelius I CJ

Flash flooding hit downtown Somerset Thursday evening, including this intersection at West Oak Street and North Main Street. No cases of anyone being in danger were reported but some roads did have to be blocked until the water went down.

Did anyone get the number of that ark?

For a period of time starting shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, Pulaski Countians could be forgiven if they thought they saw Noah cruising down the streets of Somerset. A massive rainfall was dumped on the area that, while it cleared relatively shortly, still managed to cover over a lot of ground with flash flooding.

That was even a problem in downtown Somerset's streets. West Oak Street beside Dairy Queen on North Main was quickly flooded; so was the Somerset Fuel Center, basically underwater.

"We had an incredible amount of rain in a short period of time," said Somerset Mayor Alan Keck. "We had to block some roadways. We did go out and do that."

There wasn't a significant amount of damage done to the fuel center -- Keck said he went out to check on it Friday morning, and all the water was gone -- but Keck said it did impact the ability to receive credit cards. He hopes for that payment system to be back up and running by Monday.

Keck added that the city did receive "lots of calls" from citizens affected by the flooding. He noted that when dealing with Mother Nature, "there's only so much you can do." Nevertheless, the city had representatives from Bell Engineering in Lexington come in Friday, with a team look at the city's entire street and drainage system "to see if there's anything we can do."

The problems weren't just in Somerset, however. Steve Kelley, Pulaski County Judge-Executive, said that there were flash flooding reports from "all over the county", as the county got about four inches of rain in a two-hour time period.

"There were a lot of culverts (affected), and we had to close a lot of roads," he said, specifically naming Pumphouse Road east of Somerset and Ky. 761 in Nancy.

"The rain came down so hard, so fast for a two-hour span," he added. "Anytime you've that much water, that quick, it causes issues."

Kelley noted that the county government was preparing for the annual Mud Mayhem event next weekend at Pulaski County Park and had some obstacles set up already; a swinging bridge washed out, and had to be put back in place.

He said he didn't hear any reports of anyone being in peril, but the water made "a lot of areas impassable," and county crews will have to "go back and fix spots that were washed out."

Pulaski County Public Safety Director Stacy Halcomb also said he didn't have any calls regarding anyone in danger because of the flooding, but did hear of "lots of parking lots flooded." However, "as soon as the rain stopped, it receded" in a hurry.

"It came on so quick and went away so quick, before anyone realized what had happened, it was over," said Halcomb.

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