Pike County received heavy amounts of rainfall on Thursday, leading to a mudslide and rockfalls throughout the community Thursday and Friday.
Although officials said Pike County and the City of Pikeville “dodged a bullet” when it came to the damage wrought by the weather, the rainfall, combined with the colder temperatures, still caused hazardous road conditions for drivers.
Pike County received about .45 inches of rain on Thursday, and the precipitation, combined with colder temperatures, caused a mudslide along Chloe Road near Pikeville Elementary Thursday morning.
Crews in the City of Pikeville and the Kentucky Dist. 12 Transportation Cabinet responded to the scene soon after receiving the emergency call at 9:10 a.m. Large amounts of material came down from the hill and onto the road.
Crews closed the road that surrounded the mudslide and reopened the road Friday morning, after about 16-18 hours of cleaning the fallen material at the scene, according to Sara George, information officer for the Kentucky Dist. 12 Transportation Cabinet.
On Friday morning, the weather also caused heavy rocks to fall onto one of the lanes on Ky. 195 past the Rockhouse Post Office, near Marrowbone. Crews closed the lane where the rocks fell, and flaggers directed traffic in the other open lane.
“The rocks were so big that the crews had to break them up before they could haul them out,” George said. “They (mudslides and rockfalls) happen around this time of year every year.”
Paul Maynard, Pikeville’s 911/Public Safety Director, said the City of Pikeville did not see significant flooding, despite the heavy rainfall.
“We did take a lot of rain, but it was spread out,” Maynard said. “We made sure that we monitored the weather closely.”
While Pike County did receive heavy rainfall, Doug Tackett, Pike County Emergency Management Director, said that Pike County “dodged a bullet” when it came to the damage it received after the severe weather.
“We had about three homes that were affected,” Tackett said. “We really dodged a bullet. The river was up, but it didn’t really do any damage.”
However, Tackett still had recommendations for people driving through Pike County.
“Be aware of mudslides,” Tackett said. “When we get a lot of rain and the ground, that was originally frozen, starts to thaw, it can make this area susceptible to mudslides.”
George recommended that people turn around if they see large amounts of moving water on the roads.
“If you see a lot of water on the road that is still moving and you can’t see the pavement underneath it, don’t drive through that water,” George said. “It only takes you driving through about six inches of moving water for your vehicle to get stuck in it.”
George also recommended that drivers use caution with their surroundings, especially as temperatures fall to near or below freezing during the winter season.
“People need to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings because visibility can be a problem, especially in the early morning,” George said.