US: Flooding in central Appalachia kills at least 8 in Kentucky

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JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Krystal Holbrook’s family started moving possessions to higher ground long before dawn, racing to save them from the rapidly rising floodwaters that were menacing southeastern Kentucky.

Bonnie Combs stands by and watches her property become covered by the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Jackson, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) © Provided by Associated Press Bonnie Combs stands by and watches her property become covered by the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Jackson, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Her family scurried in the dark to move vehicles, campers, trailers and equipment. But as the water kept rising Thursday — leaving at least eight people dead and hundreds without homes in Kentucky -- they began to worry that they might run out of higher ground.

St. Louis region hit by more flooding, prompting rescues

  St. Louis region hit by more flooding, prompting rescues ST. LOUIS (AP) — Heavy rains brought another round of flooding to the St. Louis region that was already recovering from record rains earlier this week, prompting firefighters to help dozens of people escape the floodwaters. No injuries were reported from Thursday's flooding, but the St. Louis Fire Department said on Twitter that it responded to 75 flooding-related emergencies and 60 people were rescued or helped to safety. Among the rescues, theNo injuries were reported from Thursday's flooding, but the St. Louis Fire Department said on Twitter that it responded to 75 flooding-related emergencies and 60 people were rescued or helped to safety.

“We felt we had most of it moved out of the way,” Holbrook said. “But right now, we’re still moving vehicles even to higher ground. Higher ground is getting a little bit difficult.”

The same was true throughout the region, as another round of rainfall loomed in an area already hammered by days of torrential rainfall. The storm sent water gushing from hillsides and surging out of streambeds in Appalachia, inundating homes, businesses and roads. Rescue crews used helicopters and boats to pick up people trapped by floodwaters. Parts of western Virginia and southern West Virginia were also hit by flooding.

Buildings and roads are flooded near Lost Creek, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Buildings and roads are flooded near Lost Creek, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear asked for prayers as the region braced for more rain.

Death toll in Eastern Kentucky floods rises to 25; Gov. Andy Beshear says 'that number is likely to increase'

  Death toll in Eastern Kentucky floods rises to 25; Gov. Andy Beshear says 'that number is likely to increase' Weather reports call for no rain Saturday, allowing a crucial window for emergency personnel to attempt new searches.The number of dead found in Kentucky following devastating flooding this week has risen to 25 and is likely to continue increasing, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a tweet early Saturday.

“In a word, this event is devastating,” Beshear said Thursday. “And I do believe it will end up being one of the most significant, deadly floods that we have had in Kentucky in at least a very long time.”

Beshear warned that property damage in Kentucky would be extensive and opened an online portal for donations that would go to residents affected by the flooding.

In Whitesburg, Kentucky, floodwaters seeped into Appalshop, an arts and education center renowned for promoting and preserving the region's history and culture.

“We’re not sure exactly the full damage because we haven’t been able to safely go into the building or really get too close to it," said Meredith Scalos, its communications director. “We do know that some of our archival materials have flooded out of the building into Whitesburg streets.”

Members of the Winchester, Ky., Fire Department walk inflatable boats across flood waters over Ky. State Road 15 in Jackson, Ky., to pick up people stranded by the floodwaters Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) © Provided by Associated Press Members of the Winchester, Ky., Fire Department walk inflatable boats across flood waters over Ky. State Road 15 in Jackson, Ky., to pick up people stranded by the floodwaters Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Meanwhile, dangerous conditions and continued rainfall hampered rescue efforts Thursday, the governor said.

Kentucky Flood Update: Children Swept Away as Death Toll 'Could Double'

  Kentucky Flood Update: Children Swept Away as Death Toll 'Could Double' At least six children are already among the dead but the state's governor has warned the death toll is likely to rise further.On Friday Joe Biden issued a Disaster Declaration after hundreds of homes were flooded, with at least 33,000 people without electricity across the state.

“We’ve got a lot of people that need help that we can’t get to at the moment,” he said. “We will.”

Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, western Virginia and southern West Virginia, where thunderstorms dumped several inches of rain over the past few days.

With more rain expected in the area, the National Weather Service said additional flooding was possible into Friday in much of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia.

Poweroutage.us reported more than 33,000 customers without electricity in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, with the bulk of the outages in Kentucky.

Rescue crews worked feverishly to try to reach people trapped by the floodwaters.

“There are a lot of people in eastern Kentucky on top of roofs waiting to be rescued," Beshear said Thursday. "There are a number of people that are unaccounted for, and I’m nearly certain this is a situation where we are going to lose some of them.”

In eastern Kentucky's Perry County, Emergency Management Director Jerry Stacy described the widespread flooding as a “catastrophic event.”

25 people dead in historic Kentucky flooding

  25 people dead in historic Kentucky flooding At least 25 people have died in the devastating rainfall that deluged eastern Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday. That death toll will likely continue to rise as search efforts continue in upcoming weeks, he added.In an update Friday, the governor said six children are among the dead in the flooding. The number of children who died rose to six after the bodies of four young siblings, swept away from their parents’ grip by the floodwaters, had been located, Beshear said."It's hard, it's even harder for those families and those communities," he said.

Homes are flooded by Lost Creek, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022.  Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history.  (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Homes are flooded by Lost Creek, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

“Extreme flash flooding and mudslides are just everywhere,” Stacy said, speaking with The Associated Press by phone Thursday as he struggled to reach his office in Hazard.

The storms hit an Appalachian mountain region where communities and homes are often perched on steep hillsides or set deep in the hollows between them, where creeks and streams can rise in a hurry. But this one is far worse than a typical flood, said Stacy, 54.

Members of the Lexington, Winchester, and Clark County Fire Departments and emergency medical services, coordinate efforts to get evacuees across the flooded Troublesome Creek in Jackson, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) © Provided by Associated Press Members of the Lexington, Winchester, and Clark County Fire Departments and emergency medical services, coordinate efforts to get evacuees across the flooded Troublesome Creek in Jackson, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

"I’ve lived here in Perry County all my life and this is by the far the worst event I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Kentucky Flash Flood Update: Children Among 15 Confirmed Dead

  Kentucky Flash Flood Update: Children Among 15 Confirmed Dead "There's going to be multiple families that we've lost. Kids that won't get the opportunity to grow up," Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Friday. © Michael Swensen Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday that the death toll from flash flooding in the state this week has reached at least 15 people, and includes some children. Above, vehicles are seen in floodwaters downtown on July 28, in Jackson, Kentucky. "There's going to be multiple families that we've lost," Beshear said in an interview with CNN on Friday morning.

Roads in many areas weren’t passable after as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain had fallen in some spots by Thursday, and 1 to 3 more inches (2.5 to 7.5 centimeters) could fall, the National Weather Service said.

A truck drives along flooded Wolverine Road in Breathitt County, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A truck drives along flooded Wolverine Road in Breathitt County, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Beshear said he deployed National Guard soldiers to the hardest-hit areas, and three parks in the region were opened as shelters for displaced people.

Men ride in a bpsy along flooded Wolverine Road in Breathitt County, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Men ride in a bpsy along flooded Wolverine Road in Breathitt County, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

The city of Hazard urged people on Facebook to stay off roads and “pray for a break in the rain.”

In West Virginia’s Greenbrier County, firefighters pulled people from flooded homes, and five campers who got stranded by high water in Nicholas County were rescued, WCHS-TV reported.

Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties in West Virginia after severe thunderstorms this week caused significant local flooding, downed trees, power outages and blocked roads.

Flooding in central Appalachia kills at least 8 in Kentucky

  Flooding in central Appalachia kills at least 8 in Kentucky JACKSON, Ky. (AP) — Torrential rains unleashed devastating floods in Appalachia on Thursday, as fast-rising water killed at least eight people in Kentucky and sent people scurrying to rooftops to be rescued. Water gushed from hillsides and flooded out of streambeds, inundating homes, businesses and roads throughout eastern Kentucky. Parts of western Virginia and southern West Virginia also saw extensive flooding. Rescue crews used helicopters and boats to pick up people trapped by floodwaters. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted Thursday evening that the state's death toll from flooding had risen to eight.

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Associated Press Writers Rebecca Reynolds and Dylan Lovan in Louisville, Ky., and Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Md., contributed to this report.

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