(NewsNation) — A community in eastern Kentucky is still trying to rebuild after facing devastating floods last July.
Residents from Jackson, Kentucky, told NewsNation the lack of help from the federal government has made those impacted by the floods feel abandoned and hopeless.
“They were forgotten from Day one,” said Vanessa Treft, an Ohio native who moved to Kentucky to help her family with recovery efforts.
Though the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided more than $101 million to survivors of the floods, Treft says they have since abandoned east Kentucky, focusing assistance on Florida’s hurricane damage.
“What little help they did have here after the hurricanes in Florida hit, all of that extra support that we had here, which was minimal, all pulled out to go to Florida to help with the hurricanes. So there we were still relying on our community organizations and the neighbors to help everybody out,” Treft said.
The destruction from the storms was historic, spanning five days and taking at least 45 lives. Thousands more were displaced, with little help to recover.
Many of the hardest-hit areas experienced even more flooding just weeks ago.
In Marion County, one man was found dead in his car, his vehicle flipped and completely submerged in the water.
In Hazel Green, the homes are dilapidated and the yards are still littered with debris.
“The thing is, I was in that July flood. Everything I got, got destroyed. So I’m still rebuilding from that. You know it’s bad,” said Kathleen Kissinger as she waited in line to receive donations from the Hazel Green Food project.
Kissinger told NewsNation one of the reasons she needs help with food is because she lost everything in the floods.
The Hazel Green food project had hundreds lining up outside looking for food assistance, as the floods made things harder for those Kentucky residents who were already living in poverty.