July 29 (UPI) — Devastating flooding in Kentucky has killed at the very least 16 people as emergency crews scrambled Friday to attain others threatened by the rising waters, that have washed away homes and roads in the last couple days.
Heavy rains slammed eastern Kentucky on Wednesday night and continued into Thursday as some families took refuge on the rooftops — if their homes were standing at all.
Jimmy Pollard of the Kentucky Coroners Association said the death toll has increased to 16 across four counties, but none were immediately identified.
The storms produced a lot more than 10 inches over a 24-hour period in the hardest-hit areas and came only days after flooding inundated the higher St. Louis area.
The National Weather Service said Friday that the North Fork Kentucky River in Jackson had reached its greatest height ever — a lot more than 43.47 feet. That broke the old height record of 43.1 feet, occur 1939.
In the last 72 hours, the majority of the rain has been isolated to southeastern Kentucky. A lot more than 8 inches has fallen in Breathitt, Perry, Owsley, Knott, Clay and Letcher counties.
A flood watch remains in place through Friday night for some of the spot.
“Whole roads beaten up — we still can’t reach many people,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN. “There’s so much water. The existing is indeed strong. It isn’t safe for a few of the water rescues that people should do. [Houses were] completely swept away in the center of the night time.”
Beshear said that seven counties were suffering from the flooding and rainfall and Kentucky activated its National Guard to utilize helicopters and trucks to take residents to safety. Additional aircraft were sent from Tennessee and West Virginia to aid.
The governor has said that property damage from the floods will undoubtedly be extensive, and he’s opened an online portal for donations that could head to affected Kentuckians.
President Joe Biden issued a tragedy declaration for hawaii on Friday, that may allow Kentucky to gain access to federal aid for recovery efforts.