Harlan County was hit with the worst flooding it's seen this decade Saturday night into Sunday.

County Judge Executive Dan Mosley said for this area, flooding is the most serious natural disaster possible.

He declared a state of emergency for Harlan County Saturday after flooding hit the area "catastrophically" hard for the first time since 2002.

The county closed three of its nine floodgates Saturday.

It hasn't closed that many in 16 years.

"We saw the waters crest about 2:30 a.m. due to another heavy band of rainfall that came through between 3 and 6 a.m.," said Mosley. "The river actually started rising again but it has stabilized as of about 10 o'clock this morning."

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About 30 or 40 people were rescued from flooding homes, and a handful were rescued from flooded cars.

No one in the county died as a result of the flooding.

Though helpful, the floodgates were not able to save all county homes from the rushing water.

Charles Hatmaker is one trailer home owner whose house, and car, flooded. Again. He remembers water getting above the roofs in 2002.

"If it would have continuously rained hard like it had been...this would have been under water," he said.

Hatmaker was one of about 300 people urged to evacuate as flood waters reached their peak Saturday night.

Shelters opened up across town as crews worked to clear the roadways so people could eventually make it home.

"It's a strain on resources, it's a strain on our personnel, but you know, public safety is our top priority, and that's what we're here to do first and foremost," said Mosley.

As clean up continues, Hatmaker and many others in Harlan County are left picking up the pieces of their waterlogged homes.

And through it all, they're staying strong.

"Harlan County people, we're tough," said Hatmaker. "We've went through more trials and tribulations than most and, Harlan County people are tough. Kentucky people are tough. We'll make it, this is just a mild setback."