These are the people we lost in the Eastern Kentucky flooding

The Courier Journal
The Courier Journal

Sons, daughters, parents, grandparents.

Cooks, musicians, photographers and miners.

The victims of the late July flooding in Eastern Kentucky that left over three dozen dead — with more fatalities feared — along with countless residents displaced, homes washed away and businesses destroyed were all of those things and more.

Here are stories, anecdotes and details about some of the victims, based off interviews with family and friends, media reports, social media posts and obituaries.

Do you know someone who died in the flooding in Kentucky? Please reach out to reporter Billy Kobin and weekend editor Keisha Rowe at and

Walter Hinkle

76, of Oneida
Walter Hinkle, 76

Walter Hinkle was a lifelong Clay County resident and "one of the sweetest men," said Diann Norvell, 69, who grew up near him.

"Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody," she said.

Hinkle loved photography, playing guitar and walking along Cane Branch, his family said in his obituary. Hinkle's niece, Debra Hinkle Gay, wrote about her uncle in a Facebook post Friday:

Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody.

"I sure love Uncle Walter, he didn't just call me Debra … it was always Debra Carol ….. I took him home last week and I always told him I loved him when he would get out of the vehicle and he would grin and say Yeah I know …. I think it embarrassed him. He loved having his picture taken and music and his cigarettes. Uncle Walter you will be so missed … I will miss seeing you on your way to the store or on your way back every day. I love you and I know you're with Jesus and Papaw Boss, Mamaw and Daddy but we're still heartbroken."

−Jonathan Bullington

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