Flood claims 2 lives

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Frankfort Police Officer Charlie Washburn said in his business you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The worst happened on a stormy Friday afternoon when a flash flood turned the usually tranquil Stony Creek in the Bald Knob area into a roaring waterway that swept away a house and killed two of Washburn's relatives.

Eugenie Ann McClease, 39, and her 6-year-old son, Jeffery Allen McClease Jr., of 1395 Harvieland Road, drowned, according to Franklin County Coroner Mike Harrod.

The child's body was found along the creek's banks about 6 p.m. Friday, and his mother's body wasn't recovered until around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, about 3/4 of a mile from the site where their home was washed away, according to Franklin County Fire Chief Gary Watts. Her body was discovered by a helicopter crew with the Kentucky Army National Guard.

The devastating thunderstorms and flash flooding that killed the McCleases also claimed the lives of animals, destroyed homes, vehicles, and barns; extensively damaged homes, bridges, roads and power lines; and uprooted trees.

Franklin Judge-Executive Teresa Barton, who declared a local state of emergency 6 p.m. Friday, rode with the National Guard helicopter crew Saturday morning "to try to get a good feel for the breadth, depth and length of the damaged area."

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