Letcher County officials are blaming some of the county’s recent flooding problems on Kentucky Power Company and its tree-cutting contractors.
District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming told the court during its May meeting this week that contractors cutting trees in Payne Gap did not remove the trees and brush they cut from power company rights-ofway, but simply dragged them to the creek bank, where they were swept into rain-swollen streams until they clogged culverts and caused flooding during recent heavy rains.
Fleming said a number of Payne Gap residents had high water problems because of the trees, and that several bigger ones had damaged the pilings on a bridge to the point that it was no longer safe. Magistrates Keith Adams and Archie Banks both said they had the same problem in their respective districts. County Judge/Executive Jim Ward said the problem is countywide.
“They are cutting the right-of-way in some places,” said Ward. “But they are putting the brush and trees in the creeks. We’ll get back in touch with them and tell them they won’t be able to put their trees in our creeks. If they are going to cut them, they will have to dispose of them and not put them in our streams.”
Magistrate Banks said if county residents want to see examples of the tree problem and the heavy rains, they should watch coverage on the new Letcher County Channel (channel 98 on TVS Cable).
Videographer Rick Hall, who films court meetings and has been working with the court to get the channel up and going, said Inter- Mountain Cable and other cable systems serving Letcher County will soon have the channel available on their systems as well. Channel 98 will air court meetings, county news, and other items of interest to Letcher County residents.
On May 18, Channel 98 featured footage showing water damage and flood problems caused by weekend.