JACKSON, Ky. (FOX 56/AP) — Search and rescue teams backed by the National Guard searched Friday for people missing in record floods that wiped out entire communities in eastern Kentucky. Cov. Beshear said 16 people have died, a toll he expected to grow as the rain keeps falling.
“We’ve still got a lot of searching to do,” said Jerry Stacy, the emergency management director in Kentucky’s hard-hit Perry County. “We still have missing people.”
Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows, leaving vehicles in useless piles, crunching runaway equipment and piles of debris against bridges and swamping homes and businesses. Mudslides on steep slopes left many people marooned and without power and made rescues more difficult.
Gov. Andy Beshear told the AP before touring the disaster area that the 16 dead in Kentucky includes children, “but I expect that number to more than double, probably even throughout today.”
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 56 for updates.
Flooding in eastern Kentucky Thursday morning has left some Kentuckians missing or dead.
Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency and activated the Kentucky National Guard due to heavy flooding in the Appalachian part of the state.
Beshear updated the death toll to eight on Thursday on Twitter.
He asked that anyone missing a loved one, not call 911. They should call the Kentucky State Police Post 13 directly at 606-435-6069.
- Extreme flooding hits portions of southeast Kentucky
- Heavy rains cause flooding, power outages in Ky. Appalachia
- Kentucky flooding: Gov. Beshear declares state of emergency
- West Virginia to send National Guard to aid eastern Kentucky flood response
CHECK WEATHER ALERTS HERE: Flooding, severe weather warnings
“Tonight we need your continued prayers for the people of Eastern Kentucky. This is an ongoing natural disaster, with more rain expected tonight that could worsen the situation” the governor wrote on Twitter.
In his Team Kentucky Update on Thursday, he said he expects the number of dead to reach the double digits.
“This is an all hands on deck,” said Beshear. To the people of eastern Kentucky, he said, “You are important, and we want to help.”