Death toll of Kentucky floods in US at 26 and rising, says governor

An aerial handout photo made available by the Kentucky National Guard shows rescue operations and response to flash flooding in the eastern part of the state near Hazard Kentucky, US, 29 July 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / SGT JESSICA ELBOUAB / KENTUCKY NATIONAL GUARD)

At least 26 people, including children, have died in floods unleashed by torrential rains in eastern Kentucky, and more fatalities are predicted with authorities expecting to continue finding bodies for weeks, Governor Andy Beshear said on Sunday.

“There is widespread damage, with many families displaced and more rain expected throughout the next day,” the governor wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“I know of several additional bodies, and we know it’s going to grow,” the governor told NBC News. “We are going to be finding bodies for weeks.”

Four children were confirmed dead as of Saturday, and the governor told NBC News he feared that number would go up at least by two on Sunday. The governor said that bodies will keep turning up as responders reach more remote areas.

More rain may arrive in the coming days, with the National Weather Service saying several rounds of showers and storms were expected through Tuesday. A flood watch was in effect through Monday morning for areas in southern and eastern Kentucky, the agency said.

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. Read full story

Beshear on Thursday declared an emergency and described the disaster as “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events” in Kentucky’s history. Read full story

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky on Friday, allowing federal funding to be allocated to the state.

There were more than 14,000 reports of power outages in the state on Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage US.

The damage from the storms could take years to repair, Beshear said.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh.)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options