Kentucky flooding death toll rises to 25, with more rain forecast for disaster areas

Hits: 18

The death toll after widespread and catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky has reportedly risen to 25 people. 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the grim tally in a Saturday morning tweet. 

“We’ve got some tough news to share out of Eastern Kentucky today, where we are still in the search and rescue phase,” he wrote. “Our death toll has risen to 25 lost, and that number is likely to increase.”

“To everyone in Eastern Kentucky, we are going to be there for you today and in the weeks, months and years ahead,” Beshear said. “We will get through this together.”

KENTUCKY CHILDREN DIE DURING HISTORIC FLOODING AFTER BEING SWEPT AWAY, COUSIN SAYS

Previously, the governor confirmed that at least six children were among the victims.

“In some of these areas, it’s hard to know exactly how many people were there,” he said. 

Search and rescue efforts continued on Friday, with teams backed by the National Guard. Hundreds have already been rescued, according to the governor. 

Beshear viewed the devastation from a helicopter on Friday. His initial plans to tour the disaster area had been postponed due to unsafe conditions at an airport where he was to land. 

More than 330 people have sought shelter from the flooding, with homes completely underwater and vehicles trashed. 

Mudslides also impacted roadways and Beshear said parts of at least 28 state roads were blocked.

More than 17,000 Kentucky residents were still without power on Saturday morning. 

Water outages were also reported by the governor’s office, with systems in Jackson and Fleming-Neon non-operational and more than 20 other systems with limited operations.

KENTUCKY FLOODING DEATH TOLL REACHES 16 AND WILL ‘GET A LOT HIGHER,’ GOVERNOR SAYS

At least 14 counties and three cities have declared local states of emergency. 

President Biden declared a federal disaster and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell said the agency would bring whatever resources were necessary to support search and recovery efforts.

Parts of eastern Kentucky received between 8-10.5 inches over 48 hours, but some waterways were not expected to crest until Saturday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson wrote that the area will start to dry out through the day on Saturday, but that dry weather was expected to end on Sunday afternoon.

Scientists say that extreme rain events have become more common due to climate change.

“If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it,” Beshear said in a statement. 

“We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together,” he pledged.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More Go To Source