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Kentucky governor says 25 dead in floods

July 30, 2022

The death toll in torrential floods in the US state of Kentucky continued to rise days after floods began. The flooding has swamped towns across the Appalachian mountain region of the central eastern United States.

An aerial view of homes submerged under flood waters from the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Jackson, Kentucky on Thursday
Some flood-ravaged parts of Kentucky were still waiting on help SaturdayImage: LEANDRO LOZADA/AFP

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said it could take several weeks to recover the victims from flooding across the state.

The flooding in Kentucky has already been confirmed to have claimed the lives of 25 people.

The record flash flooding was likely to result in an increasing number of casualties, Beshear said.

"This is an ongoing natural disaster," Beshear told Fox News.

"We are still in search and rescue mode," he said. "Thankfully, the rain has stopped. But it's going to rain more starting Sunday afternoon."

Floods leave at least 16 dead in Kentucky

What is the state of rescue operations?

Hard-hit areas have been a struggle to reach. Some of the most affected areas are among the poorest places in the US.

So far, crews have reportedly made more than 1,200 rescues involving helicopters and boats, Beshear said.

On Friday, Beshear flew over flood-stricken areas. He described what he saw as "just total devastation, the likes of which we have never seen."

"We are committed to a full rebuilding effort to get these folks back on their feet," Beshear said.

How imperiled are residents in flooded areas of Kentucky?

On Friday, the rain let up after eastern parts of the state saw 8-10.5 inches (20-27 centimeters) over a 48-hour period. Some homes in low-lying areas were nearly completely submerged with just rooftops visible.

Authorities also said on Friday that at least six children were among the dead, including four children from the same family in Knott County.

US President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency to direct funding to flood-ravaged parts of the state.

Western Virginia and southern parts of West Virginia were also affected by the flooding and heavy rains.

ar/fb (AFP, AP)