(NewsNation) — Extreme flash flooding has killed at least eight people and destroyed hundreds of homes in eastern Kentucky.
Torrential rain in the region was followed by flooding, mudslides and power outages. Over the past three days, the area has seen about 10 inches of rain. Thursday, the governor of Kentucky declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard.
Clay Nickles, who survived the flooding, told NewsNation it looks like a nuclear bomb went off.
Around 5 a.m., Nickles and his wife woke up to what they thought was pounding on their door. Instead, it was 30 tons of rock, mud, and trees that slid onto their home.
“We got out of there pretty quickly. We’re very blessed to have family close by, that we could actually walk to. That’s when the day began in terms of trying to find neighbors and helping out in the rescue efforts,” Nickles told NewsNation.
Nickles and his wife walked more than two miles to find his grandfather.
“The worst always crosses your mind, but we were just praying and hoping that everything would be OK when we got there. But yes, we were terrified and until the last hour or so, we finally got in contact with all of their close family and relatives and friends. Thank God they’re all OK, even though their homes are mostly destroyed,” Nickles said.
Nickles added that material things come and go, but he is grateful for for his health and that his loved ones are safe.