As flooding death toll in eastern Kentucky climbs to 25, Beshear warns of more rain on the way

Karla Ward, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Weather News

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The death toll from floods that hit eastern Kentucky this week has risen to 25, and it is likely to climb higher as search and rescue efforts continue, Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday.

At the same time, the region is struggling with impassable roads and outages of water, electricity, natural gas and cellphone service, he said.

Knott County has had the most fatalities, with 14 reported as of Saturday morning. Other counties where people have died include Breathitt with four deaths reported, Perry with three and Letcher and Clay counties, with two deaths each, Beshear said in a briefing at noon Saturday.

Beshear said a previous report that six children had died was incorrect, and only four of the victims were children.

“Information is going to change as we get it,” he said. “This is still an emergency situation.”

He said it’s been difficult to get an accurate count of missing people because cellphone service is still down in some places.


“Keep praying. I’m worried that we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks to come,” he said.

At least 1,432 people have been rescued by aircraft and boat through the efforts of entities including national guard units from Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Beshear said.

“To everyone in Eastern Kentucky, we are going to be there for you today and in the weeks, months and years ahead. We will get through this together,” Beshear said in a tweet Saturday morning.

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