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Death toll stands at 38 following historic eastern Ky. floods

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Justin Hicks
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Ohio Valley ReSource

As eastern Kentucky remains under a flood watch, residents are slowly picking up the pieces after historic flash flooding. The death toll from the flooding has been confirmed at 38. 

“Officially we’re now confirming 38 because we’ve lost a young man in the cleanup,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We’ve already reached out to his family and will be helping his family with funeral expenses, and we grieve with him and each one of the 38 individuals that are lost.”

Gov. Beshear met with families in Letcher County and announced in a news conference that heavy rainfall in eastern Kentucky on Wednesday could be “the last bit of weather that sets the region back.”

Beginning Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday night, eastern Kentucky residents have been under a flood watch. Parts of both eastern and central Kentucky are under a flood watch until 8 p.m. Wednesday.                                                                                                        
Beshear said two people remain unaccounted for, and the Kentucky State Police are continuing efforts to identify missing people. 

Cell service is back up in all areas, and Beshear said only a few water systems remain down. The governor also said just 300 homes are without electricity compared to 25,000 at the beginning of the floods, and he hopes rebuilding efforts will be the focus once the rainfall subsides this week. 

“After that (the rainfall), we’re gonna be able to move from emergency to stabilization and then rebuilding, cause we’ve got a whole lot of people that love their home, and we gotta make sure they get back up on their feet,” Beshear said.

Earlier, Beshear said he expects a special session to take place within the next month to address the floods.

Copyright 2022 WFPL News Louisville. To see more, visit WFPL News Louisville.

Divya Karthikeyan is the Capitol reporter for the Kentucky Public Radio Network, a collaborative of stations including WFPL-Louisville, WEKU-Richmond, WKYU-Bowling Green and WKMS-Murray.
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