Flooding in Central Appalachia Kills at Least 8 in Kentucky

Krystal Holbrook’s family began frantically moving their belongings to higher ground before dawn to avoid the rising floodwaters that threatened southeastern Kentucky.

Her family members hustled around in the night to move cars, trailers, and other heavy items. Concerns grew on Thursday as the water continued to rise, leaving at least eight people dead and hundreds without homes in Kentucky.

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

Floods In Central Appalachia Killed 8

The same could be said for the rest of the region, as another round of rainfall loomed over an area that had already been pounded by days of torrential rainfall. Water gushed from hillsides and rushed from streambeds during the storm, flooding homes, businesses, and roads in Appalachia. Flood victims were rescued by boat and helicopter. Western Virginia and southern West Virginia also experienced flooding.

As more precipitation is expected, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has asked for prayers.

Flooding in Central Appalachia Kills Least 8 Kentucky
Flooding in Central Appalachia Kills Least 8 Kentucky

Beshear described Thursday’s event as “devastating” and used that word twice. And I think it will end up being one of the most significant, deadly floods we have had in Kentucky for a very long time.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has asked for prayers in anticipation of more precipitation.

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

After several days of rain, thunderstorms in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, western Virginia, and southern West Virginia caused flash flooding and mudslides.

The National Weather Service has warned that flooding could worsen into Friday across much of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southwest Virginia due to the impending rain.

More than 33,000 people in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia were without power as of Tuesday, according to Poweroutage.us. The majority of the outages occurred in Kentucky.

Many people were stranded by the flooding, and rescue workers worked tirelessly to reach them.

“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.”

Director of Emergency Management Jerry Stacy in Perry County, located in eastern Kentucky, called the widespread flooding a “catastrophic event.”

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