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Eastern KY Flood Update: Death toll at least 25, displaced residents getting temporary housing

beshear flood update
Gov. Andy Beshear Youtube
Gov. Andy Beshear giving and update on flood conditions in southeast Kentucky 07/30/22

The death toll continues to rise in southeastern Kentucky as crews can more easily make their way through the flooded area. As of 11AM Saturday morning, 25 people have been confirmed dead and 4 of those are children.

During an update Saturday afternoon, Governor Andy Beshear said the number of loses is just the beginning.

“I’m worried that we’re going to be, we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks to come. Keep praying, I hope there are no more, we ought to expect there will be more loss.”

Those looking for missing loved ones are encouraged to reach out to the Kentucky State Police post serving the area their loved one lives. Those numbers and email can be found here.

A break in the rain Saturday has allowed for more search and rescue efforts to get underway. Higher temperatures are expected to move in and that can create its own set of problems.

“Certainly for those counties, we can open cooling centers. We’re already speaking to local officials on that and where there is not power we’re going to be working to set up similar centers and we’ll have to find ways through generators and others to power those.”

As of Saturday morning, nearly 16 thousand Kentucky Power customers were without power. The majority of those are in Breathitt, Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry, and Pike counties.

Over 140 people are being housed in temporary housing at Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County. Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Bell County is open, though no one has been reported using it, Buckhorn State Park has been opened but access has made it difficult for people to reach that spot, efforts are underway to help access that facility.

There are 15 emergency shelters in the flooded region. They can be found at governor.ky.gov/disaster-response/flood-resources.

Governor Beshear says they learned many lessons from the tornado disaster in western Kentucky in December. He said on big one, relates to temporary housing.

“We have travel trailers on hand that are moving to eastern Kentucky right now. We can take the crew that was there in western Kentucky, because we have zero people on the waiting list. They know the challenges; they know the best places to put these. We’re going to have travel trailers in eastern Kentucky for people faster than we have ever seen.”

More rain is expected to start Saturday evening and carry on into next week.

Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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