Death Toll Rises In Kentucky Floods: Stricken Areas Remain Hard To Reach, Governor Says

According to the state’s governor, the death toll in flood-affected areas of eastern Kentucky has reached at least 25. It will surely “grow worse” as emergency personnel search for missing people. According to Gov. Andy Beshear, the immediate objective is “to get as many people to safety as possible” in the wake of what local officials have called record flooding.

Members of the Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia National Guard and police from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and State Police have recently saved hundreds of people by air and water. Beshear urged locals to report missing people, saying that it was difficult to estimate how many people were missing at this time, given the extent of the debris and the affected districts.

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According to the governor, water systems are overburdened, and certain areas still lack cell phone service. There was no water at one hospital. “We will be there for you today, in the next days, weeks, months, and years, Eastern Kentucky. Together, we can get through this, “Beshear stated in a Saturday tweet. More than 10,000 houses and businesses were still without power as of late Saturday, which has hampered rescue attempts, according to PowerOutage.us.

Many regions saw severe flooding that destroyed homes, forcing some locals to flee to their rooftops. The governor stated on Friday that works to reconstruct certain regions may take years, as officials estimate that the storms have impacted thousands. Beshear told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “It is devastating for us, especially after the western part of our state just seven and a half months ago went through the worst tornado disaster we’ve ever seen.” Beshear was referring to a string of tornadoes that tore through Kentucky in December and left 74 people dead.

One of the hardest-hit areas in the region is Hazard, Kentucky, in Perry County, where rescue operations are still ongoing. When Mayor Donald Mobelini said, “Happy.” Using cadaver dogs, a team of coroners is searching the three-county region, according to Mobelini, who spoke to CNN’s Pamela Brown on Saturday.

Death Toll Rises In Kentucky Floods
Death Toll Rises In Kentucky Floods

According to Mobelini, he believes the actual number of fatalities will be much higher than the official death toll of 25, based on his conversations with officials in the counties of Perry, Breathitt, and Knott. According to Modeling, Hazard’s water treatment facility is completely offline, leaving more than 20,000 residents wholly dependent on supplies of bottled water.

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“It’s over 30-some total for just our three counties, and I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Mobelini said. The mayor added that many people won’t be able to rebuild, even once the floodwaters have subsided.

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