The death toll from catastrophic flooding across Eastern Kentucky jumped to 15. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear warned that the death toll could more than double in the coming days and that some of the victims could include children.
“This is so deadly, and it hit so hard, and it hit in the middle of the night,” he added.
Beshear said that first responders have conducted more than 50 high-risk air rescues and evacuated hundreds of others on boats. He said that rescue and recovery efforts have been hampered by the dangerous conditions.
“Whole roads washed out — we still can’t get to a lot of people. There is so much water. The current is so strong. It is not safe for some of the water rescues that we need to do,” Beshear said.
The storms have dumped several inches of rain across the state over the past few days and more rain is in the forecast over the weekend. The storms are also bringing flooding rains to West Virginia and Virginia, where roughly four million people remain under flood alerts.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a statewide emergency, while West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued an emergency declaration for several counties.