TEAM COVERAGE: Beshear says flooding death toll has risen to at least 37

The death toll from the devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky continues to rise.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 8:14 AM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The death toll from the devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky continues to rise.

Governor Andy Beshear confirmed Monday evening that the death toll has risen to at least 37. The governor says refrigerator trucks are serving as mobile morgues to hold bodies as they are flown to the medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.

Beshear says the number of missing is in the hundreds. He says Search and rescue crews are still running into areas where it’s difficult to get to.

He says more than 12,000 people are still without power, but that’s down from over 24,000 at the peak of the flooding.

“We have hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, hundreds of people displaced, but we are moving and moving fast,” said Beshear.

Kentucky State Police is responding to the areas of eastern Kentucky that are affected. Due to a high volume of calls, they’re asking people to only dial 911 if you have an emergency. They provided these numbers for other needs:

  • If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Breathitt, Perry, Knott, Letcher or Leslie counties, contact Post 13 Hazard at 606-435-6069.
  • If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Magoffin, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, or Pike counties, contact Post 9 Pikeville at 606-433-7711
  • If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Jackson, Owsley, or Lee counties, contact Post 7 Richmond at 859-623-2404
  • If you wish to report a missing loved one in the counties of Wolfe or Morgan counties, contact Post 8 Morehead at 606-784-4127
  • If you wish to report a missing loved one in Harlan County, contact Post 10 Harlan at 606-573-3131

State parks, schools, churches and community centers across Eastern Kentucky are sheltering Kentuckians displaced by flooding. Click here for a full list and more information on state flood resources.

Beshear says the first travel trailers to help house people arrived in eastern Kentucky Saturday. He said Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County is full, but the trailers are there to help increase capacity.

There are 14 emergency shelters open. They are assisting 483 people.

Gov. Beshear says Friday morning President Joe Biden ordered federal aid to assist with recovery efforts in 13 eastern Kentucky counties.

Federal funding is available to the commonwealth, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in the counties of Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Wolfe. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth.

Gov. Beshear says he expects additional counties to be added to the federal declaration for individual assistance. He says the five counties that were initially named were because that’s where FEMA got to first.

Many organizations have taken the initiative to help those affected by the flooding.

“We want to make sure we wrap our arms around our eastern Kentucky brothers and sisters and make sure they are okay,” said Beshear.

Beshear says the number one need right now is water, and you can go to the state’s flood resource website to see where to send those donations.

Gov. Beshear says some school districts in these areas may have to delay the start of school because of damage to buildings and facilities.

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