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Death toll rises to 26 in Kentucky flooding

Randy Mancini 13 Jul 31
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)

Devastated communities across eastern Kentucky began digging out Sunday as the state’s death toll rose again and another round of storms threatened to expand the historic flooding. The death toll was 28 as of Sunday evening, according to the governor’s office, up from 26 earlier in the day. State officials said they still expect the death count to grow in the coming days.

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

Drone footage showed the swollen Kentucky River following deadly torrential rains in the eastern part of the state. In a video clip released on Twitter, Governor Andy Beshear said on Sunday that more fatalities are predicted with authorities expecting to continue finding bodies for weeks.

Gov. Beshear today updated Kentuckians on rescue and recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky and related deaths from the flooding. The Governor also announced the beginning of an application process for individual disaster assistance from @fema.

Read more: https://t.co/Oqg7rWhwXg pic.twitter.com/mG1kqfNCAf

— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 31, 2022

In more tough news for the commonwealth this morning, our death toll has risen to 26 lost – and that number will increase. There is widespread damage with many families displaced and more rain expected throughout the next day. 1/3 https://t.co/8ZwyQedsGq

— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 31, 2022

“We do know of additional bodies that have been recovered, but we cannot confirm those deaths at this time,” Beshear voiced. “We have hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, hundreds of people displaced, but we are moving and moving fast.”

Video released by the Defense Department showed a Kentucky National Guard flight crew readying a helicopter to deliver emergency supplies to affected areas. The floods were the second major national disaster to strike Kentucky in seven months, following a swarm of tornadoes that claimed nearly 80 lives in the western part of the state in December. Beshear on Thursday, declared an emergency and described the disaster as “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events” in Kentucky’s history.

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

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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