The majority of our focus is on deer hunting and deer news here at D&DH, but we can’t help but offer a tip of the cap to the Kentucky DFWR officer who placed his life on the line to save a possible flood victim.
By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor
A flash flood created a life-threatening situation last week in Knott County but Sgt. Greg Watts didn’t hesitate when the director of the Hazard-Perry County Senior Citizens Center was swept away.
He jumped into the floodwaters and forged through about 25 feet to reach Kim Boggs. According to the KDFWR communications department press release, Boggs was clinging to a parking lot trash can anchored to a utility pole.
We applaud Sgt. Watts for his heroic actions. Here’s the rest of the account from the KDFWR:
“The trash can and the utility pole are gone now,” Watts said. “A huge sudden flow of water just washed her away. She was under the water and then managed to grab onto the trash can. I just jumped in and grabbed her.”
The events played out shortly after 11 a.m.. Eighty-five senior citizens from Hazard Center were participating in a fishing outing at Four Star Village Pay Lake and Catering near Redfox, Ky.
“It started raining about 10:30, sometimes hard, but they were using their shelters and catching fish,” Watts said. “We had gone back to the parking lot to get the vans.”
He and another member of the center had just walked across the parking lot on the pond’s upper end when the water came.
“I’ve never seen it come up like that,” Watts said. “It came on us like the drop of a hat.”
That’s when he saw Boggs get swept away.
“The water just went over top of her,” Watts said. “She grabbed the can and that’s when I had to go in.”
Conservation Officer Steve Combs saw the events unfold and quickly maneuvered his truck through the water, temporarily relieving Watts and Boggs from the current. The two officers loaded Boggs into the bed of the truck.
“The water was coming over the hood,” Watts said. “She couldn’t stand up when we got to the truck so we put her up into the bed. I held onto her and Steve drove us out,” said Watts.
Boggs did not need medical attention afterwards.
Conservation Officer William Amburgey also helped in getting the rest of the senior citizens to safety. The flood waters left roads washed and debris cluttered. After they cleared the roads, reinforcement conservation officers and Kentucky State Police joined to get the seniors back to Hazard.