Kentucky floods kill at least 16 as governor warns toll will be “a lot higher”
UPDATED ON: JULY 29, 2022 / 3:43 PM / CBS/AP
Search and rescue teams backed by the National Guard searched Friday for people missing in record floods that wiped out entire communities in some of the poorest places in America. Kentucky‘s governor said at least 16 people have died, a toll he expected to grow as the rain keeps falling.
Gov. Andy Beshear said at least six children were among the victims.
“That’s hard,” the governor told reporters during a briefing Friday afternoon. “That’s even harder for those families and those communities, so keep praying. There’s still a lot of people out there, still a lot of people unaccounted for. We’re going to do our best to find them all.”
Beshear said earlier Friday the death toll was “going to get a lot higher.” He said later officials may be updating the number of fatalities “for the next several weeks.”
Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows, swamping homes and businesses, leaving vehicles in useless piles and crunching runaway equipment and debris against bridges. Mudslides marooned people on steep slopes, and at least 33,000 customers were without power.
“We’ve still got a lot of searching to do,” said Jerry Stacy, the emergency management director in Kentucky’s hard-hit Perry County. “We still have missing people.”
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