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Flash flooding worsens across Ky., death toll rises

Randy Mancini 5 Jul 29
Members of the Winchester, Ky., Fire Department walk inflatable boats across flood waters over Ky. State Road 15 in Jackson, Ky., to pick up people stranded by the floodwaters Thursday, July 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Members of the Winchester, Ky., Fire Department walk inflatable boats across flood waters over Ky. State Road 15 in Jackson, Ky., to pick up people stranded by the floodwaters Thursday, July 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

The Biden administration moved to ramp up federal aid to help with local recovery efforts in Kentucky after the president issued a Major Disaster Declaration in the state. Biden’s declaration Friday, covers all areas of the Bluegrass State recently stricken by severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides. The order comes as FEMA is assisting with efforts to find survivors and conducting federal recovery operations.

“With more than 20 search and rescue teams on the ground,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated. “FEMA has deployed rescue personnel to assist with those efforts and they have dispatched an incident management assistant team.”

Governor Andy Beshear called the situation quote “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history” with more than a dozen deaths already reported. As damage assessments continue, Beshear said the death count is “going to get a lot higher.” He also sought to console those who have lost loved ones or cannot get in touch with them.

“To all the families that know you’ve already sustained a loss. We’re going to grieve with you. We’re going to support you. We’re going to be here for you, not just today, but tomorrow and in the weeks and in the years to come,” voiced Beshear. “Everybody out there that is scared, that can’t get in touch with one of their relatives. Cell phones are down in so many of these regions. We tell you, I know how you feel. I couldn’t get in touch with members of my family after the tornadoes. So please continue to hope, continue to pray and we will try to connect as many people as possible.”

Drone shots of the #Flooding in #Kentucky after it the water has receded several feet. #KyWx pic.twitter.com/UPgp6XRzx4

— WxChasing- Brandon Clement (@bclemms) July 28, 2022

At least 13 counties, so far, are listed for receiving the funds, but damage assessments are continuing. This means more could be added to the tally. At least 16 people have been killed as a result of the severe weather, a number the governor fears will double.

The flooding that has hit Eastern Kentucky is absolutely devastating and there is even more rain expected. Like the tornadoes, helping our families rebuild and recover is going to be a long, hard process. If you can, donate at https://t.co/5xzGiFA3XE to help those impacted.

— Andy Beshear (@AndyBeshearKY) July 28, 2022

So far, hundreds of people have been rescued by the National Guard and taken to shelters. Beshear estimated it could take weeks for authorities to find all victims as rescue and recovery efforts continue.

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