Death Toll Rises To 26 In Kentucky Flooding

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.

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.

“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.

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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