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75 people still displaced after Lincoln County pipeline explosion

Many people are still displaced Aug. 2, unable to return home. WHAS11 talked with a family that got a first-hand look at the devastation from their yard.

LINCOLN CO., Ky. (WHAS11) -- Seventy-five people are still displaced on Friday in Lincoln County. This comes after an explosion destroyed five homes and killed 58-year-old Lisa Derringer.

While 75 people aren’t allowed to fully return to their homes, nearly 25 have no place to go at all.

Homeowners are able to go into their homes with a police officer and get toiletries and clothes, but they have to leave.

Enbridge and the NTSB have been out at the explosion sight in Lincoln county while Lincoln County Emergency Management has been assessing the damage done to these homes.

“Our concern is, what happened to that wiring for electrical inside? We don’t want to power up the grid and get electricity back to these places and get another fire, we don’t want to do that,"  Don Gilliam, who is the Director of Lincoln County Emergency Management, said. 

Water and electric still needs to be repaired to many of these houses. From there, Gilliam says it’s up to the homeowner to get their electricity checked. They still need to wait for the investigation to finish.

Jason and Tish Griffitts have lived in Lincoln county for decades. Their hay-field was charred from the explosion, but it’s nothing like the destruction beyond their fence.

“I mean there were houses where people lived, now in ruins. There’s nothing but dust left,”  Tish, as she looked at the devastation, said. 

Five homes have been burned to the ground. Seventy-five people can only return to their homes for clothes or toiletries and nearly 25 people don’t have a home to go back to at all.

When asked, 'What used to be here?' Tish said, "Life. Lots of beautiful green grass, lots of kids playing in the trailer right here, they were out riding their bikes, running, chasing each other.”

It's only been one day since the explosion rocked their home.

“It’s pretty traumatic, I’ve never seen flames that high before, I’ve never felt heat that hot. I’m a Welder, but I’ve never experienced anything that hot,” said Jason.

The Griffitts are able to stay in their home, but others may have a long wait before they can return home.

“I don’t think electricity will be restored until this is deemed a safe community and I have been advised that that could be a week or more,”  Gilliam said.

Two other pipelines run through the Griffitts land, but their not afraid of another explosion occurring on their land. Tish went on to say that getting on the road to drive every day is riskier.

“This has opened my eyes to hey, we need to be appreciative, we need to be thankful and we need to never take neighbors for granted,"  Jason said.

The Griffitts said anyone who wants to see if their home is OK can come look in their yard. 

“We want to help in any way we can,”  Tish said.

One elderly man is still in the hospital, the five others that were hospitalized on Thursday have been released, that’s including the Sheriff’s Deputy that was hospitalized.

►Contact reporter Kristin Goodwillie at KGoodwillie@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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