This story is a collaboration between The Daily Yonder and Grist. For more, watch the Daily Yonder’s video “How Broadband and Weather Forecasting Failed East Kentucky.”
Terry Thies wasn’t worried about the rain that pounded on her roof last July.
She had received no flood warnings before going to sleep that night. Besides, her part of rural Perry County in Eastern Kentucky often gets heavy rain.
So early the next morning when her foot hit the water lapping the bottom of her wooden bed frame, Thies’ first thought was that the toilet had overflowed. But as she scanned her bedroom for the water’s source, she realized this was something else entirely.
“I came into the kitchen and opened the door and water was flowing down the lane,” Thies said. “Water was in my yard and rushing down. And I was like, well, I guess I’ve been flooded.”