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Friday, August 19, 2022

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At Least 15 Dead In Kentucky Floods; Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

Update (1038ET): Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the death toll has climbed to 15 people and expected it to double following “historic” flooding. 

“There’s going to be multiple families that we’ve lost,” Beshear told Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “New Day.” “Kids that won’t get the opportunity to grow up and experience so much that we have.”

“This is so deadly, and it hit so hard, and it hit in the middle of the night,” he said, adding even though eastern Kentucky experiences floods, “we’ve never seen something like this.”

Beshear tweeted moments ago that President Biden approved his “initial request for a disaster declaration in Kentucky.”

Aerial views show the widespread devastation in the eastern part of the state. 

* * * 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday night, at least eight people perished, and dozens were rescued from rooftops due to historic flooding in eastern Kentucky. 

“We’re gonna end up with double-digit deaths. Right now, I believe we can confirm at least eight,” Beshear told local news WLEX. 

“Tonight, we need your continued prayers for the people of Eastern Kentucky. This is an ongoing natural disaster, with more rain expected tonight that could worsen the situation. The death toll has heartbreakingly risen to 8 Kentuckians lost,” Beshear tweeted, and also within the tweet was a video statement where the governor called the flooding “historic.

Watch the governor’s latest update:

Here’s a map of the flooding area in the eastern part of the state. 

Earlier in the evening, Beshear told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, “this is by far the worst flooding disaster at least of my lifetime in Kentucky … it’s wiped out what we believe are hundreds of homes. We have half of some of our counties underwater.” 

The governor said 30 people were air rescued thanks to the National Guard. He added the worst might not be over as officials are bracing for more deaths as rescue efforts continue Friday

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