Flooding devastates eastern Kentucky counties, claims lives

Photo Credit: Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentuckians began to hear the news of devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky on Thursday morning. Gov. Andy Beshear said “this is one of the most significant and deadly floods we have had in Kentucky.”

The governor announced three deaths at the time of the Thursday afternoon press conference with two lives lost in Perry County and one in Knott County. Beshear said he expects double digit deaths as a result of the flooding.

A statewide state of emergency has been issued to allow for additional resources and the deployment of the National Guard. The Kentucky counties of Perry, Floyd, Breathitt, Clay, Owsley, Letcher, and Pike, as well as the city of Hazard, have declared local emergencies.

“There will be a lot of people who need our help and that are displaced,” Beshear said, noting homes have been destroyed and widespread power and water outages.

The governor stated search and rescue is underway and urged those with a missing loved one to call the KSP post at 606-435-6069 rather than calling 911 and said FEMA will be on the ground to help by Thursday evening.

Kentucky Sports Radio and the Kentucky Chamber Foundation have partnered to create a relief fund. Donations can be made at www.ksrfloodrelief.com.

A relief fund has been launched by the Beshear administration. Donations can be made at teamekyfloodrelieffund.ky.gov and more information will be available on the site.

Beshear said the Red Cross and other organizations are helping with immediate relief and the new Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund will be used for rebuilding the communities in the coming year.

More rain is expected over the next few days that will likely impact additional eastern Kentucky counties. The governor advised Kentuckians in the area or close to them to leave the area if they can to remain safe.

The Kentucky Chamber has created a Resources for Eastern Kentucky Flooding webpage for more information.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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