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By TEENA DRAKE
Special to The Trimble Banner
Much as earlier local residents during the precipitation of 1937, 1964, and 1997, citizens along the Ohio River anticipated rising waters as the wind whipped and rain poured last week. Much to their surprise the hills gave way creating mudslides and landslides. Creeks roared out of their banks and debris rushed down causing Milton residents a multitude of problems.
“I remember as a little girl in 1964 the rain started and the water rose rapidly we helped friends on School Hollow get to higher ground,” local resident Charlene Kelley said. “However, I have never experienced rain like last Wednesday and Thursday. It was a massive amount of rain in a short period of time.”
As Kelley left her home to run some errands, she realized Coopers Bottom Road had been closed due to the rushing of water and the debris swept along. Roads were rapidly obstructed by rocks, trees, and mud rushing over the hill and flash flooding.
On Friday morning, Coopers Bottom Road and School Hollow Road were scenes of mass destruction. Water was still pouring off the hillside creating flash floods throughout the area. Uprooted trees, massive rocks, logs and mud were covering the roadway or clogging the culverts. A section of the road was washed away forcing Coopers Bottom to one lane of traffic.
Tommy Boaz had a landslide that pushed in the back of his garage on School Hollow Road - a catastrophe which forced him to shut down his shop due to the structure’s instability. “I can’t believe it. I just got my lift set up and now I can’t use it,” Boaz said. “This is my livelihood. It rained so hard and fast the land just broke away and they are predicting more rain on Monday.”
While this writer was taking pictures at Boaz’s shop the building would pop and crack as if any minute it would collapse. Tommy is searching for a new place to move his business, but in the meantime has friends attempting to help him dig out the mud to relieve some pressure off of the frame.
Similar discussions went on throughout Milton from citizens who lived along the Ohio. Comments common to many were: “I remember the rain starting during ‘64 or ‘97 and it continued to rain until the river rose out of her banks, but this was more violent; fast and furious as creeks, ditches, hillsides were rushing with water. It was unimaginable as gigantic trees and boulders were swiftly moving in the water as if they were weightless.”