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Kentucky floods kill at least 30 as more storms forecast

The death toll was expected to rise further, the governor said. Authorities were aware of additional bodies that had been recovered but not added to the list of confirmed deaths in time for his morning briefing, he said.

Members of the Tennessee Task Force One search and rescue team wade through the debris-filled Troublesome Creek
Members of the Tennessee Task Force One search and rescue team wade through the debris-filled Troublesome Creek Sunday after a search dog detected the scent of a potential victim in Perry County, Kentucky.
Jeff Faughender / USA TODAY NETWORK / via Reuters
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Floods unleashed by torrential rains in eastern Kentucky have killed at least 30 people, including four children, Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday, as authorities worked to provide food and shelter for thousands of displaced residents.

The death toll was expected to rise further, the governor said. Authorities were aware of additional bodies that had been recovered but not added to the list of confirmed deaths in time for his morning briefing, he said.

The National Weather Service forecasted several rounds of continuing showers and storms through Tuesday. The additional rainfall could also hamper rescue and recovery efforts.

"If things weren't hard enough on people of this region, they're getting rain right now," Beshear said.

Beshear, who declared a state emergency last week, said over the weekend that authorities would likely "be finding bodies for weeks" as teams fan out to more remote areas.

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Days of heavy rainfall - described by Beshear as some of the worst in the state's history - caused some homes in the hardest-hit areas to be swept away. Video clips posted online showed rescue teams guided motor boats through residential and commercial areas searching for victims. Read full story

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team on Sunday published footage on Facebook of a helicopter air lifting an 83-year-old woman from a home to safety. Five people in total were trapped in an attic and rescued from the roof of the home, which was almost completely submerged in water, the crew said.

At least 16 deaths were reported in Knott County alone, including at least four children.

One of those deaths include Eva Nicole “Nikki” Slone, a 50-year-old who ventured out in the storm on Thursday to check on an elderly friend, according to her daughter, the Lexington Herald Leader reported. Slone's body was recovered the next day near home.

"My mom was a very caring woman," Misty Franklin told the newspaper.

The floods were the second major disaster to strike Kentucky in seven months, following a swarm of tornadoes that claimed nearly 80 lives in the western part of the state in December.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky on Friday, allowing federal funding to be allocated to the state.

Power lines were widely damaged, with over 15,000 reports of outages on Monday morning, according to PowerOutage.US.

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