Flooding in Kentucky leaves eight dead and thousands without electricity
At least eight people died and thousands are without electricity due to flooding in Kentucky, the “most devastating in its history”, by torrential rains, as reported Thursday by the governor, Andy Beshear.
Beshear said at a press conference that one of the fatalities is an 81-year-old woman, a resident of Perry County. As for the other two victims, Beshear said that one also lived in Perry County and the other in Knott County.
The governor, of the Democratic Party, said that authorities expect the death toll to reach “double digits”. Meanwhile, thousands of people are without power in the state.
Beshear said that 25,111 power outages have been reported in the state and that authorities are already working on repairs.
The governor warned that this is “a natural disaster in progress” and that the rains will continue in some parts of Kentucky, where in certain areas are expected to fall in the coming hours up to two and three inches (more than 5 and 7 centimeters) of water.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response team is scheduled to begin working in the affected areas tonight, Beshear added, explaining that he spoke with the White House today to explain the state’s needs.
The governor had to declare a state of emergency and activated the National Guard – a reserve military corps – to help in the rescue efforts. “We are seeing one of the worst flooding events, one of the most devastating in Kentucky’s history,” he has stated in an earlier press conference, along with the prediction of a large number of damaged homes.
The Weather Channel said an unknown number of homes have been swept away by the rains, and in many cases water has reached rooftops. Also, numerous roads are blocked and many trees have fallen.
Beshear has detailed that there are people who have been trapped on the roofs of their homes in eastern Kentucky and are waiting to be rescued.
Local media have reported that six inches of water fell in the Jackson area of the state over the past few hours.