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Flood mitigation efforts are expanding in eastern Kentucky

Samantha Morrill

In recent years, increased rainfall has caused historic floods throughout the commonwealth. Eastern Kentucky was among the regions impacted the most. Now, officials said developers are looking into constructing green sinks in Morehead and surrounding communities.

Green sinks are dry ponds made of rocks and soil that do not retain water. Morehead city planner Rodney Fouch said floods are common in the region, even with small amounts of rainfall, and green sinks can help.

“We flood even in times when it’s not a hundred-year event. I think that’s really where this is really going to come into play. It doesn’t matter if you flood an inch or a foot, you still flood. So, if we can take care of a bulk of the floods that are much smaller than a foot or two feet, we’ve really done something,” said Fouch.

Officials said green sinks are one of the most efficient methods of flood prevention. Fouch said the next step is to include engineers in the process.

“The latest update is that the Corps of Engineers is going to be throwing their weight around on this project. They’re going to take on not just our community, but all the communities in the whole Gateway ADD district. They’re going to help us identify the areas, to testing of the areas. They’re going to help us get it set up,” said Fouch.

Fouch said though brainstorming for the project began in Morehead, other communities may see funding and construction first. Cities like Mt. Sterling have had land and development help donated to them, and Morehead may be next in line.

The project is still in the planning phase. Fouch said the Gateway ADD hopes to receive a grant so the only costs to the city would be engineering and construction.