Catastrophic flooding has struck the central United States. Heavy rains caused massive flooding across Eastern Kentucky, leaving people stranded on rooftops and others without power or water. Several have died. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called it one of “the worst, most devastating flooding events” in state history. “This isn’t just a disaster, it’s an ongoing natural disaster,” Beshear said. He also declared “we expect double digit deaths” at a news conference. Beshear called a state of emergency for all of Kentucky and the National Guard has been mobilized. Crews were working to rescue and evacuate people stranded on the roofs of homes. Helicopters are actively engaged. Many were trapped in their home and in the mountains. The city of Hazard, Ky., was among the hardest-hit, with at least 9 inches of rain falling in 12 hours Wednesday night into Thursday morning. More than 6 inches of rain fell overnight heading into Thursday morning, leaving streets underwater and the National Weather Service warn heavy rains and flooding could continue throughout the weekend.
Flooding was reported in numerous counties in southeastern Kentucky early Thursday, including Breathitt, Floyd, Perry, Knott, Leslie, Pike and Magoffin.In Perry County, where several structures were destroyed as bridges and roads were covered in water, 20 people were unaccounted for early Thursday morning. Posted photos and videos on social media early Thursday show water taking over the streets in Buckhorn, Breathitt and Perry counties. At least 1 to 2 inches of rain was expected by meteorologists between Thursday night into Friday south of Interstate 6. “Hundreds will lose their homes, and this is going to be yet another event that it’s going to take not months but likely years for many families to rebuild and recover from,” Gov. Beshear warned.