Eastern Kentucky was hit with devastating flooding last week, with countless people left with nothing. The Taylorsville Police Department teamed up with Taylorsville Community Church, Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Department, Spencer County EMS and the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office to collect new items such as water, non-perishable food items, toiletries, toys, clothing and countless cleaning supplies.

Thousands of items were dropped off at the Taylorsville City Hall Annex beside City Hall at 70 Taylorsville Road in Taylorsville from July 29 — Aug. 1.

Taylorsville police officer Ronnie Long said it was important for him to give back and help those whose lives were destroyed by the flood. He’s from eastern Kentucky, and said he couldn’t sit and watch as the town he loves was submerged in water.

“We’ve had a lot of people that we know, close distant, friends, family that have lost everything,” said Long. “It hits on a new level. I’d never really experienced anything like having family and friends being affected by anything like that, so it’s something new to me and it hits really close to home.”

Taylorsville police Chief Brian Sumner, who is also from eastern Kentucky, said seeing the devastation was heartbreaking, so when Long reached out to him to be a part of the effort, he didn’t hesitate.

“It was kind of mind-blowing. This is home and it’s under water,” said Sumner. “We want them to know that people in other parts of the state know you’re there, know you’re struggling, and we’re here to help.”

When it came time to load up all the items for delivery, local youth from all around lent a hand. There were many groups represented in the packing of supplies including, but not limited to, the Spencer County High School football, baseball, volleyball, and dance teams, Spencer County Reapers baseball, Spencer County Baseball Association, along with individuals and business owners.

The collection efforts of law enforcement spread out into the community, sparking further interest in individuals to collect as well.

Michael Chad posted this on the Spencer County, KY Community Group Facebook page: “I wanted Spencer Co to know what wonderful and selfless people you have working in your community.

“I made a small video asking for cleaning products for the families in Eastern KY when I saw Taylorsville Police and Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District taking donations. Within two days, there were 1000+ packages headed to the Taylorsville post office. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office gave me names and numbers to help with logistics. The Spencer county post office sorted and separated the deluge of packages that came in, and were very gracious making room and taking on the challenge. The fire department volunteered manpower, equipment and storage space for the donations to stay dry while they await transport. The police department arranged a distribution contact and point of contact in Eastern KY for all further aid coming in. Finally, Country Mart opened, sorted, condensed, and recycled boxes and packing material, as to not put a further burden on Eastern KY.

“All of these people came together within a matter of hours and selflessly volunteered to help. I am proud to live here and am truly grateful for the caliber of the community.

“The estimated count as of two days ago:

47 shovels

143 (3-pack) cleaning wipes

458 bottles of Lysol all purpose cleaner

43 box fans

370 (80 count) Hefty ultra strong waste bags

153 2.5 gal buckets with Windex cleaner

103 outdoor push brooms

24 broom and dustpan

234 (5 pack) large cleaning sponges

57 mops w replacement head

305 (3 pack) rubber dishwashing gloves”

Also, each school in the district will be collecting items through Friday, with the seniors taking the items to Knott County schools. The items they are collecting are:

  • Bottled water
  • Cleaning supplies such as cleaning wipes, spray, paper towels, etc.
  • School supplies such as pencils, pens, paper, folders, binders, crayons, markers, etc.