Governor Andy Beshear confirms 16 dead, including children, after severe flooding
JACKSON, Ky. (AP/WYMT) - Local search and rescue teams, assisted by the National Guard, continued their search on Friday for people missing in record flooding.
Several inches of rain fell early Thursday morning, leading to Flash Flood Emergencies for several Eastern Kentucky counties.
Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 16 people were killed, a death toll he expected to grow as the rain keeps falling.
Beshear said one person, an 81-year-old woman, was killed in Perry County. 11 people have died in Knott County, including two children. Two people died in Letcher County, and two people died in Clay County.
Beshear added the Kentucky National Guard rescued 119 people by helicopter. KSP rescued eight people by chopper on Thursday.
The Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron, along with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, rescued 64 people.
Between Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, there are 14 aircraft in the air on Friday.
Governor Beshear is expected to assess the flood damage in Eastern Kentucky on Friday morning.
Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows.
The water swept cars into useless piles, crunched runaway equipment and debris against bridges and swamped homes and businesses.
Mudslides on steep slopes left many people without power and made rescues more difficult.
Extensive flooding was reported in several counties, including Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Pike and Perry.
Several emergency shelters are open in our region. You can find those here.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund was launched on Thursday. To make a donation, you can click here.
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