COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Dozens of Ohio first responders have gone to eastern Kentucky to join in on the search and rescue efforts after severe flooding hit the region this past week.
One of those is a doctor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and for the next few weeks, he will be on the front lines of this natural disaster.
Dr. Daniel Bachmann said he has assisted in a variety of disasters like building collapses and hurricanes, but he said the floods in eastern Kentucky have some of the most significant destruction he’s ever seen.
Bachman spends every day preparing for disasters but said no matter how much you plan, you never really know what you’re getting into.
“Each one is a little bit unique and I think this one is unique because there are places that are relatively unaffected and there are places that are pretty much just gone,” he said.
Now on the front lines of the deadly floods in eastern Kentucky, Bachmann and Ohio Task Force 1 are helping to evacuate people trapped inside their homes.
“We’ve used boats to get to some people,” said Bachman, who also serves as the medical team manager for the task force. “We’ve also been moving around by foot and by vehicle.”
He said it isn’t easy navigating the flood waters blocked off by downed power lines and debris, but the team pushes forward to reach those in need.
“There’s a lot of relief, but it’s also emotional in a hard way because many of these people have lost most or all of the things that they’ve built up and that they own,” Bachmann said. “To step away from that and try and leave that behind to figure out what they are going to do next is really tough.”
He said the community where the task force is working is resilient and said the battle only goes uphill from here.
“This community is going to be recovering for a long period of time,” Bachmann said.
He said he will stay in Kentucky to help for as long as he is needed.
Bachmann said there is still a lot of work left to help the community recover and encourages anyone who can to donate to trustworthy charities like the American Red Cross to help with recovery efforts.