Governor Andy Beshear announced on Friday that at least 15 people have died as the result of severe flooding in eastern Kentucky.
"The flooding situation in Eastern Kentucky is ongoing, with a flood watch in effect through today. Heartbreakingly, we can confirm at least 15 deaths, but we expect that number to grow. Over 23,000 Kentuckians are without power," he tweeted Friday morning.
The flooding situation in Eastern Kentucky is ongoing, with a flood watch in effect through today. Heartbreakingly, we can confirm at least 15 deaths, but we expect that number to grow. Over 23,000 Kentuckians are without power. 1/3 https://t.co/mrx4htJY0k— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 29, 2022
"Our teams are working around the clock to help those impacted. I want to thank the heroic first responders, including @KentuckyEM, @KentuckyGuard, @KyStatePolice, @KYTC, @KyFishWildlife and others. Yesterday teams engaged in around 50 air rescues and hundreds of boat rescues," he tweeted.
If you’d like to help, we will need cleaning supplies and water. I also encourage you to donate to the TeamEKYFloodReliefFund, where 100% of donations will go to Kentuckians affected by this historic flooding. 3/3— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) July 29, 2022
According to NBC-affiliate WLWT5, Beshear told CNN News that the death toll is expected to rise to "more than double" and will include "some children."
As reported by Reuters, Beshear declared a state of emergency across six counties Thursday morning.
"We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky's history, the governor said in his emergency declaration. "Hundreds will lose their homes."
"This is an ongoing natural disaster, with more rain expected tonight that could worsen the situation," he continued.
According to Poweroutage.us, about 24,000 households were left without power in eastern Kentucky.
So far, the state has activated the national guard, and the state police will use helicopters and boats to rescue people who have been left stranded. Meanwhile, trucks will bring drinking water, as it is currently difficult to find fresh water in the hardest hit areas.
While evacuation centers and shelters were opened in state parks, Beshear cautioned that the storms left some of these facilities without power.
"I'm asking everyone to pray," he told CNN. "There are a lot of people out there who need help and are very scared right now. And we're doing the very best we can to reach each and every one of them."
Beshear has also set up an online fundraiser, Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, which aims to assist those impacted by the flooding.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael Swensen/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.