BY ANDREA TORTORA
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FALMOUTH - When floodwaters from the Licking River trapped hundreds of people in downtown Falmouth, Sheldon Lindsey and Joseph Reynolds did what they say anyone else would.
They each grabbed their boats and a Kentucky state trooper, and they started making rescues - and risking their lives.
"Yeah, I was scared," Mr. Sheldon said Sunday. "I can't swim. But I had friends in there that needed to get out."
Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Reynolds will receive the Citation for Meritorious Achievement on Wednesday from the state police. Troopers Todd Kenner, Scott Davenport and Vic Hubbuch will be awarded the Trooper's Medal for their efforts.
Trooper Davenport, stationed on the north end of town during the March 1 flooding, rode with Mr. Lindsey in his bass boat.
"Yeah, we were scared, but what do you do when people are screaming for help and you see them hanging out of windows and on roofs?" said Trooper Davenport, 33.
A 10-year officer with the state police, Trooper Davenport and his wife, Jeunet, have one son, Austen, who is 2. A Marine Corps veteran, the trooper said the flooding is something he will never forget.
"These civilians that went out and assisted us didn't have to do that," he said. "They did it because they are good neighbors." While Mr. Lindsey and Trooper Davenport made rescues on the north side of Falmouth, Trooper Kenner and Mr. Reynolds were doing the same thing on the south side.
"We watched the Boone County Water Rescue trying to get over to us," Trooper Kenner said. "One jet ski disappeared, and a woman on the other one couldn't get to us."
So those on shore went to those on the water, helping to pull them through the strong, swirling current. For Trooper Kenner, the rescues became personal. His parents were raised in Pendleton County, and he now lives there.
Trooper Kenner, 36, has been with the state police for 13 years. He and his wife, Maureen, have four boys, Andrew, 9; Matthew, 7; and twins Nathaniel and Anthony, 4.
Falmouth wasn't the only city to suffer when the Licking River overran its banks. Things were just as bad in Cynthiana, where Trooper Vic Hubbuch is stationed.
When floodwaters made the use of regular boats too dangerous because of hitting downed utility wires, broken gas lines and the roofs of cars and homes, Trooper Hubbuch contacted a friend who owns a Hovercraft.
Trooper Hubbuch, 24, became a trooper last July and is married to Tricia, 23.
"Oh, I love the job. It's the best in the world," he said.