Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after severe storms dumped up to a foot of rain across the state overnight. At least one person was killed as the heavy rain caused flash floods across Eastern Kentucky.
“It has been a tough night and maybe an even tougher morning for so many of our residents,” he said during a news conference on Thursday (July 28) morning. “We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history.”
Beshear warned that “we probably have not seen the worst of it” and said it will take “years for many families to rebuild and recover from” the massive flooding.
“Sadly, we believe that we will lose Kentuckians, and a lot of Kentuckians will probably lose most of what they have,” he added.
The Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander’s office told NBC News reporter Maggie Vespa that at least 20 people have been reported missing or are unaccounted for.
The Breathitt County Emergency Management warned that the rapidly-rising flood waters are hampering rescue efforts.
“Rescue crews have been out but cannot reach several areas due to swift water over roadways,” the agency wrote on Facebook.
More rain is in the forecast and is expected to continue through Friday, leaving around four million people in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia under flood alerts.