25 dead in historic Kentucky floods

At least 25 people died in devastating rains that flooded eastern Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear said on Saturday.

That death toll will likely continue to rise as search efforts continue in the coming weeks, he added.

In a update On Friday, the governor said six children were among the flood dead. The number of children who died rose to six after the bodies of four younger siblings, washed away by floodwaters, were found, Beshear said.

β€œIt is difficult, it is even more difficult for these families and these communities,” he said. “Keep praying, there are still a lot of people out there, still a lot of missing people. We will do our best to find them all.”

Four additional deaths were reported Friday evening in Breathitt County, eastern Kentucky, three of which were due to flooding. One person could not be reached by EMS and a lack of medical attention contributed to his death, according to County Coroner Hargis Epperson.

Also on Friday, President Joe Biden issued a declaration of major disaster in the state and ordered the dispatch of federal aid to “areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and landslides.” mud,” according to a White House press release.

It was unclear how many people were still missing Friday night. In Breathitt County, 12 people remain missing, Epperson said Friday evening.

Beshear said the state conducted about 50 air rescues and hundreds of boat rescues Thursday. So far, 294 people have been rescued and 337 are in shelters, he added.

“This situation is ongoing,” he said. “We are still in search and rescue mode and at least in some areas the water is not going to peak until tomorrow.”

Rescue teams, assisted by the National Guard, were looking for more missing people on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

“We have volunteers coming in to help us,” Jerry Stacy, director of emergency management for Perry County, told MSNBC. “That’s going to be our focus, and, you know, we still have missing people, and we’re doing everything we can to find them.”

Image: Major flooding ravages eastern Kentucky after heavy rains
Members of a rescue team help a family out of a boat on July 28, 2022 in Quicksand, Ky.Michael Swensen/Getty Images

On Thursday, the state ordered the evacuation of the Panbowl Lake area in Breathitt County, where officials fear the dam could burst.

“We’ve already gone door to door and circled around trying to evacuate as many people who are ready to go,” Beshear said. “If you’re still there, why don’t you go find a friend, a relative, someone to stay with, go to a hotel – just find somewhere safe. We don’t want to lose more people than we don’t. ‘need it.”

In an update Friday, Beshear said that after making more than three flights over flooded areas, Perry and Breathitt counties are the most devastated.

More than 23,000 people in the state are without power and “many counties without water,” he added.

At least 28 state highways are blocked as a result of flood damage and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are working to clear them, according to Beshear.

“We have bridge inspectors and engineers on the ground, but we can’t even access some of these roads,” he said. “It’s really bad.”

Over the weekend, 2 to 4 inches of rain are possible in Eastern Kentucky.

Houses submerged by flood waters
Leandro Lozado / AFP-Getty Images
Kentucky floods
Homes submerged under floodwaters Thursday from the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Jackson, Ky.Leandro Lozado / AFP-Getty Images

Up to 3 million people remain under flood alerts in Kentucky, West Virginia, parts of northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia and a few counties in southern Ohio.

Beshear told “NBC Nightly News” host Lester Holt on Thursday that the ongoing flooding was “by far the worst flood disaster” of his life in the state.

Leave a Comment