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UPDATE: The death toll rises to 25 people after flooding in KY

UPDATE(07/30/22) – Gov. Andy Beshear says 25 people are now dead following the devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky, 4 of those being children. It was reported Friday that 6 children died but was corrected Saturday by the Governor. He says the 2 children originally reported turned out to be adults.

Gov. Beshear says rescues are still underway. The Kentucky National Guard rescuing 404 people by aircraft over the last couple of days, Tennessee National Guard has rescued 224 people, West Virginia National Guard has rescued 36.

19 people and 2 dogs have been rescued by boat.

KSP has assisted in 624 water rescues, 125 for KY Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Gov. Beshear says it is hard to get a count of how many people are still missing because of lack of service and communications in the affected areas.

15 emergency shelters are currently active.

Governor Beshear says 18 travel trailers full of water are on the way to Eastern KY.

Gov. Beshear says more than 18,000 power outages have been reported. He says restoration continues throughout the weekend. He says 18 waste water systems are under limited operations due to flooding, 19 water systems have limited operations due to power outages, 26,480 service connections are without water, 29,214 additional services that are receiving water need to boil. 3 drinking water systems are completely out of service.

Gov. Beshear says the relief fund has had 5,673 donations so far, $684,688 as of Saturday. He announced Saturday the first expenditure will be to pay for the funerals of the victims lost in the flooding.

• If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Breathitt, Perry, Knott, Letcher or Leslie counties, contact Post 13 Hazard at 606-435-6069.
• If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Magoffin, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, or Pike counties, contact Post 9 Pikeville at 606-433-7711.
• If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Jackson, Owsley, or Lee counties, contact Post 7 Richmond at 859-623-2404.
• If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Wolfe or Morgan counties, contact Post 8 Morehead at 606-784-4127.
• If you wish to report a missing loved one in Harlan County, contact Post 10 Harlan at 606-573-3131.

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UPDATE (2:15 P.M.) – Gov. Andy Beshear says there are now six children dead from flooding. Beshear and FEMA Administrator Deanna Criswell, toured flood damaged areas with the National Guard on Friday.

Criswell says there are still many roads and bridges out and FEMA is working closely with the governor’s team to document what they’ve seen and any additional assistance that’s needed.

Crews are still actively looking for those in need of rescuing.

Gov. Beshear says he’s seen several flood incidents but, “This is by far the worst.” In Perry County, Beshear says they saw a number of mudslides and roads that remain impassable. They weren’t able to get all the way into Hazard as they had hoped but a number of homes are “nearly totaled”.

In the Jackson area of Breathitt County, Beshear calls the damage “devastating” saying much of the city itself is underwater.

The governor says helicopters and boat crews are still working to get people to safety.

According to the governor four more children’s bodies have been located which brings the total number of children dead to six. “Keep praying,” said Beshear. “There’s still a lot of people out there, still a lot of people unaccounted for.”

The governor wanted to stress anyone who is unable to get in contact with loved ones to notify Kentucky State Police and not to call 911.

Ksp Hotline

Source: KSP

Gov. Beshear says a written update will be sent to news outlets later Friday.

According to the governor, water hasn’t even crested in some parts of eastern Kentucky. “We’ve got to act quickly after the water recedes tomorrow,” saying water levels could come back up Monday.

Beshear expects the death count to climb over the next several weeks.

ABC36 will have live coverage from Jackson beginning at 5 p.m.

UPDATE (7/29/22) – Friday morning, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on the flooding saying 16 people have now been confirmed dead with 11 coming from Knott County, including two children.

According to the governor, one death has been confirmed in Perry County, two in Letcher County and two in Clay County.

You can watch the full news conference HERE.

Gov. Beshear was supposed to join federal officials to tour flood damaged areas Friday but weather prevented that from happening. Another news conference will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday from Frankfort.

Also Friday, Gov. Beshear said President Joe Biden has approved his initial request for federal aid to assist with recovery efforts in 13 Eastern Kentucky counties devastated by historic flooding.

Federal funding is available to the commonwealth, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in the counties of Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Wolfe. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth.

“We thank President Biden and the federal government for being responsive in the commonwealth’s time of need. We asked for this last night; it came this morning – one of the fastest disaster declarations we’ve seen, and we are grateful for it,” Gov. Beshearsaid. “To all the families that know you’ve already sustained a loss, we’re going to grieve with you, we’re going to support you and we’re going to be here for you, not just today, but tomorrow and in the weeks and years to come.”

Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, attended Friday’s 10:30 a.m. Eastern time media briefing and has named Brett H. Howard as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

“On behalf of the president, we are here to support you now, and we will also be here to assist you as you go through your recovery, as long as you need us,” Criswell said.

Other information shared at Friday’s 10:30 a.m. briefing includes:

  • 16 Kentuckians in four counties have been confirmed dead and that number is growing.
    • One person, an 81-year-old woman, has died in Perry County.
    • 11 people have died in Knott County, including a 63-year-old man, a 65-year-old woman and two children.
    • Two people have died in Letcher County, including a 79-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman.
    • Two people have died in Clay County, including a 76-year-old woman.
  • The emergency is ongoing. In some areas, water will not crest until tomorrow.

Missing Persons

  • Kentucky State Police (KSP) provided instructions for how to report missing loved ones, depending on the county. Only dial 911 if you have an emergency. Click here to find the correct number to call to report missing persons based on the county they live in.

Ways to Help

  • Donate to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. The funds will be used to provide long-term relief to individuals directly impacted by this historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Donations will help with food, shelter and other necessities of life and supplement emergency funds that come into the area.
  • Collect water and cleaning supplies to donate once it is safe to transport supplies.

“If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it. We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together,” Gov. Beshear said.

Shelter Areas

  • There are 10 total shelters, four are organized by the Red Cross and six are independent.
  • There are 337 occupants at the shelters.
  • There are updates to the three state parks that are being used for shelter:
    • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park is experiencing power outages and road obstruction from washout and debris. When the lodge is functional it will serve as an emergency shelter as well.
    • Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is providing temporary housing for 128 people, occupying 36 rooms and two cottages and four campers. Rooms are booked, but campgrounds are still available.
    • Pine Mountain State Resort Park has four rooms available for temporary housing.
  • A Red Cross shelter is also open at Floyd County Community Center located at 7199 KY-80, Langley, KY, 41645.
  • If you have been impacted by the recent flash floods, please call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).

Rescues

  • The Kentucky National Guard rescued 119 individuals by aircraft.
  • KSP rescued eight by air on Thursday. KSP has two helicopters in the air today.
  • The Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron, along with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, rescued 64 individuals.
  • KY, WV, and TN are flying a total of 14 aircraft today.
  • 20 large high-axle military vehicles will begin transporting individuals to shelters.

Power Outages

  • There are approximately 23,000 power outages reported.
  • Kentucky Power warns customers to stay away from all downed lines.
  • Never touch downed power lines, no matter how harmless they look.
  • It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line.
  • All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous.
  • Also, never touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water since they can conduct electricity.
  • Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard.
  • Call Kentucky Power at 800-572-1113 to report hazards.

Water Outages

  • Two systems were not operational as of 9:30 a.m. Those systems are Fleming-Neon and Jackson water systems.
  • There are 21 other water systems with limited operations due to flooding and power outages.

Natural Gas Safety

  • Approximately 135 customers have been isolated and service discontinued due to severe flooding in Hindman, Knott County.
  • Kentucky Frontier Gas Jackson reported this morning Frontier Gas had to shut off system due to flooding of regulator stations under 10 feet of water, issues with low pressure system and mains on dam. They have 635 meters out.
  • Flooding can damage your natural gas lines and appliances, causing a safety hazard. Here’s what to do if flooding affects your home or business:
    • In the event of a flood, turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off.
    • If the natural gas is shut off at the meter, call your gas provider to turn it back on.
    • If water levels were high enough to cover the gas meter, call your gas provider to check your meter and regulator before using your gas appliances. Floodwaters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses, possibly resulting in a natural gas leak.
    • If your appliances have been impacted by flooding, do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A qualified professional should check, clean, repair and test all gas appliances and pipes.

Local States of Emergency

  • At least 14 counties and three cities have declared local states of emergency: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Letcher, Owsley, Pike, Lee, Perry, Leslie, Magoffin, Martin, Johnson, Knott and Wolfe counties; and the cities of Beattyville, Paintsville and Salyersville.

Panbowl Lake Evacuations Contacts

  • Kentucky River Medical Center
    540 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
    • 17 Patients
    • 606-666-6000
    • Public Health sending MAB – Mobile Ambulance Bus to evacuate all patients.
  • Nim Henson Geriatric Center
    420 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
    • 100+ Patients
    • 606-666-2456
    • Public Health sending MAB – Mobile Ambulance Bus to evacuate all patients

Gov. Beshear Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Price Gouging
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order prohibiting price gouging in the aftermath of the devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

Under the state declaration, Gov. Beshear is empowered to implement certain provisions to protect consumers. The Governor’s executive order prevents the sale of goods or services, such as gasoline, at a price grossly in excess of its sale point before the state of emergency was declared. The executive order remains in place for the duration of the state of emergency.

To report price gouging call 888.432.9257 or visit ag.ky.gov/PriceGouging.

Governor’s Executive Order on Pharmaceuticals
The Governor signed an executive order allowing pharmacists located in any county of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to dispense emergency refills of up to a 30 day supply of any non-controlled medication for residents of any county of the commonwealth. Pharmacists in counties affected by the emergency may temporarily operate a pharmacy in an area not designated on the pharmacy permit. The order will expire in 30 days but is subject to renewal.

Other Updates
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear declared a State of Emergency due to severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

To view updates shared during the Governor’s 9:30 a.m. Eastern time briefing, click here.

To learn more about the Governor’s initial response to Eastern Kentucky floods, see yesterday’s Team Kentucky Update release.

 To learn more about the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, see yesterday’s release on its launch. To learn more about the federal disaster declaration, see today’s Federal release.

Today at 8:52 a.m., Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians via video on the historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky and his administration’s response.

UPDATE (7/29/22 6 P.M.) – Gov. Andy Beshear says the death toll continues to climb after flooding in eastern Kentucky. According to the governor, eight deaths have now been reported.

Kentucky State Police has shared several updated hotline numbers for people to report missing loved ones.

Ksp Missing Hotlines

Source: KSP

UPDATE (12 P.M.) – 

PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is reporting multiple deaths after overnight flooding in eastern Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear says to expect the death toll to reach double-digits.

The state says at least six counties have declared local states of emergency: Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Letcher, Owsley and Pike.

State leaders say if you’re in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher or Perry County and you can’t track down a loved one, you can call 606-435-6069. If it’s busy, emergency officials say to keep calling.

Gov. Beshear says right now, monetary donations are needed. An eastern Kentucky flood relief website will be available beginning at 4 p.m. HERE.

The Kentucky National Guard, which has been activated, shared an update on social media saying, “Two MEDVAC crews from DET 1 C/2-238th AVN – Wildcat DUSTOFF are preparing to leave Frankfort, within the hour to assist with flooding in Eastern KY.”

Chopper1

Source: Kentucky National Guard

The Kentucky National Guard says multiple aircraft has been launched to provide support for hoist and rescue operations.

Flood

Source: Kentucky National Guard

Gov. Beshear held a news conference at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. You can watch HERE.

Gov. Andy Beshear held an update at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. You can watch HERE.

According to the governor, the National Guard has been activated and is staging three helicopters and moving trucks to get through the high water. Kentucky State Police has been active, along with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet which is preparing for debris removal.

“This was a tough night and maybe an even tougher morning for so many of our residents,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history. The situation is dynamic and ongoing. In most places we are not seeing receding water – in fact, in most places it has not crested yet. What we are going to see coming out of this is massive property damage and we expect loss of life. Hundreds will lose their homes. And this will be yet another event that will take not months, but years, for our families to rebuild and recover from.”

Gov. Beshear says the state plans to open three state parks to those who have lost their homes. The shelters will be at Jenny Wiley, Buckhorn and Pine Mountain.

The governor says there will likely be loss of life from this devastation.

“We probably have not seen the worst of it,” said Gov. Beshear. “Sadly, we believe we will lose Kentuckians.”

As of 9:30 a.m. there are 23,000 people without power. Several areas will lose water temporarily like Pike and Martin County.

The governor says a list of shelters will be published later Thursday and will ask Kentuckians to come together to help donate water and cleaning supplies.

The National Guard says it’s aware of people still on rooftops awaiting rescue and is actively working to get to those individuals.

Another update will be given at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hazard saw severe flooding, according to firefighters. The agency said it’s working on 20 to 30 rescues, dealing with four to five feet of water in most areas. More HERE.

In Breathitt County, the Breathitt County Courthouse is serving as an emergency shelter for people in the community as severe flooding continues in Eastern Kentucky. Breathitt County Emergency Management shared the update to Facebook, warning people to stay off the roads. You can read more HERE.

ABC36 has several crews in eastern Kentucky and will have continuing coverage throughout the day.




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