At least 26 people have died after torrential rains caused extensive flooding in towns across Appalachia, though the death toll is expected to grow in the coming weeks.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday that persistent rain has complicated recovery efforts and that officials will likely be “finding bodies for weeks.”
KENTUCKY FLOODING DEATH TOLL RISES AS GOVERNOR WARNS IT COULD GET MUCH WORSE
“Our death toll right now is at 26, but I know of several additional bodies, and we know it’s going to grow. With the level of water, we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter mile plus from where they were lost,” Beshear told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
The exact number of individuals missing is still unknown, as the flooding devastated remote communities, wiping out cell service.
“We still can’t get into some areas to check on people. We’re doubling our National Guard. We’re going to work to go door to door, work to find, again, as many people as we can. We’re even going to work through the rain. But the weather is complicating it,” Beshear added.
The state has begun opening up travel trailers and state parks to help shelter people, helping to make “real progress” on that front, Beshear added.
Flooding and mudslides have already inundated small towns across Appalachia, engulfing homes and businesses. A flood watch is still in effect for portions of southern and eastern Kentucky through at least Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
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President Joe Biden declared a federal disaster earlier this week, directing relief money to over a dozen counties in Kentucky.