At least 28 dead in Kentucky floods: “We’ll find bodies for weeks”

The death toll from last week’s flooding in Kentucky has risen to 28, authorities said, adding they expect more casualties as rescuers continue to search for missing people amid more rains forecast for the area.

“Our confirmed number of Kentuckians that we lost has now reached 28 and we expect there will be more and that number will increase,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday.

He had called the flood “one of the most devastating deadly floods we’ve seen in our history,” adding, “It wiped out areas where people didn’t have as much to begin with.”

“We must act quickly after the water recedes tomorrow, certainly before it rains again,” he said The New York Times.

“We’re going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter mile or more, from where they were last located,” he said, according to NBC News.

Meanwhile, Chief Breathitt County Judge Jeffrey Noble had said the storms and flooding had crippled phone services for miles. He added that major roads in Jackson, the county seat, remain closed.

More rain is forecast for some regions in Kentucky in the coming days, making it harder for rescue operations to be carried out.

Col Jeremy Slinker, Kentucky’s emergency management director, told CNN that “the prediction is concerning” and that they are monitoring it very closely. “We also send out alerts and make sure everyone knows.”

He added, “We’re preparing for this and making sure all residents are prepared for this because we just don’t want to lose anyone or have more tragedy.”

On Sunday afternoon, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said 37 people were missing, down from the official figure of 28.

Taking to Twitter, the governor said there was widespread damage, “with many families displaced and more rain expected the next day.”

A flood watch is in effect in southern and eastern Kentucky through at least Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service, CNN reported.

There are fears that the flood situation could worsen. The Weather Prediction Center said: “The risk of flash flooding will gradually increase as showers and thunderstorms with very heavy precipitation rates develop today and expand coverage.”

Gov Beshear said Sunday the state’s estimated losses from the massive flooding could be “in the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars”.

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