JACKSON, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky flooding survivor Belinda Asher says a flood alert on her phone got her out of harm's way just before her home and everything she owned was swept away during catastrophic flooding last week.
A line of slow-moving thunderstorms dumped torrential rain across eastern Kentucky on Thursday and is now blamed for at least 35 deaths as floodwaters destroyed buildings, swept away vehicles and cut off power to tens of thousands of people.
Asher said she received a life-saving Flash Flood alert on her phone and quickly sprung into action.
"I ran outside to see what was going on. Then I saw how fast the water was rising, so I started waking up my family," she said. "My brother, my mom, my husband and my kids. Then we started getting the animals out. We just got what we could. We didn't get anything from my house except us and my animals."
Asher said she had 15 horses in a barn when the flooding began, and she was forced to open the doors and let them run free to try and escape the flooding.
Luckily, all 15 horses managed to survive.
But in less than an hour, everything Asher and her family owned was gone.
She and her family are now staying with her brother-in-law – her mother is sleeping in a camper, and her brother and sister-in-law are staying in a horse trailer.
"There's nothing left at all," she said. "We found a piece of (the home), but that's it," Asher said. "I saw a part of my porch and part of my floor plan, but that's all we found."
Asher and thousands of other Kentuckians are in the same predicament. For the second time in less than a year, residents are forced to pick up the pieces after a major disaster moved through the region.
In December, a powerful EF-4 tornado tore through the community of Mayfield, Kentucky, leveling everything in its path.
And much like in the aftermath of the devastating tornado outbreak in December, Kentuckians are stepping up and coming out in droves to support their neighbors who have been knocked to their knees.
Asher says all she can really do now is take things one day at a time.
"We're trying to get everything in line," she said. "And figure out where we can go and get a new house. I lost both of my vehicles in the flood. So it's literally just one day at a time."
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said there had been 660 air rescues, with as many as 30 helicopters in the air. Hundreds of boat rescues were also conducted in the Bluegrass State.
Beshear mentioned Sunday that they have "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damage due to the flooding.
The weather could impact recovery efforts this week as forecasters say there is severe storm potential Monday in many of the flood-ravaged areas in Kentucky, which will be followed by a dangerous heat wave.
"The most risk is on the northernmost part of the impacted area where it is very unstable," Beshear said in a news conference Monday morning. "When the rain stops, it's going to get really hot."
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