Kentucky flooding: Death toll rises to 37, hundreds of people still missing

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed Monday evening that 37 people have died so far from heavy rain and flooding across the state.

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Update 9:54 p.m. EDT Aug. 1: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed late Monday that the death toll has increased to 37, a figure expected to increase in the coming days as more search-and-recovery crews arrive to survey damage and scour waterways for victims, The Courier-Journal reported.

Four children were among those killed, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service warned that slow-moving showers and thunderstorms could provoke more flash flooding through Tuesday morning.

Update: 1:32 p.m. EDT Aug. 1: In a tweet Monday afternoon, Beshear confirmed that 35 people have died as a result of flooding in Eastern Kentucky. WLKY said more bodies are being recovered.

Floyd, Magoffin, Knott and Pike counties also remain under a flash flood warning as the area is receiving more rain, according to WLKY.

>> How to help Kentucky flood victims

Original story: According to WLKY, Beshear confirmed that 30 people have died and that more deaths were expected as the authorities continue to search for hundreds of people who are still missing. Beshear also confirmed that about 12,490 people are without power, which is down from 30,000.

“We are still focused on meeting the immediate needs of providing food, water and shelter for thousands of our fellow Kentuckians who have been displaced by this catastrophic flood,” Gov. Beshear said. “At the same time, we have started on the long road to eventual recovery.”

Beshear also said about 359 survivors are being sheltered temporarily at 15 shelters, two parks and campgrounds. Missing people resources such as phone numbers for each county can be found in the press release from Beshear.

CNN said that rescue workers are searching for missing people among the devastation with some areas isolated due to floodwater. The flooding has destroyed bridges and homes. Rescuers are working to beat rising temperatures that are expected later in the week.

On Sunday, Beshear shared in a press release that FEMA announced that renters and homeowners in Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties who were affected by the storms including flooding and mudslides, can apply for individual disaster assistance. Full information can be found on FEMA’s website. You can also call 800-621-3362.

“Once the team arrives at their destination, the task force will prepare for whatever mission they may be assigned,” the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management said in a press release. “These missions could include water rescues, wide area search, targeted searches or even humanitarian welfare checks.”

The Associated Press said Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to announce $1 billion of aid to states to help with floods and extreme heat on Monday at an event in Miami, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The announcement comes after the death toll continues to rise in Kentucky amid the possibility of more heavy rain. It also comes after wildfires expand in California and Montana.

“We know that the impacts of the climate crisis are here, and that we must invest in building resilience to protect our communities, infrastructure and economy,″ the White House said in a statement.