Drone footage shows disastrous flooding in eastern Kentucky; death toll rising

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 3:14 PM EDT
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UPDATE 7/29/22 @ 8 a.m.

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday morning that 15 people have died following flooding, including children.

The governor said the toll is expected to rise.

Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows, leaving vehicles in useless piles, crunching runaway equipment and piles of debris against bridges and swamping homes and businesses. Mudslides on steep slopes left many people marooned and without power and made rescues more difficult.

While floodwaters receded in places after peaking Thursday, the National Weather Service said flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall remained possible through Friday evening.

New flood threat on Friday

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KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - At least eight people have died because of severe flooding in eastern Kentucky following heavy rains overnight that continued through early Thursday morning.

“Unfortunately, I expect double-digit deaths in this flooding,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Thursday during a press conference.

The governor tweeted early Thursday evening that the death toll has risen to eight people.

This is drone video of flooding in the Hindman community of Knott County. The small town that sits along a creek now looks more like a lake, as water reaches into homes, swallows vehicles and touches power lines fixed to poles feet in the area.

Knott County, Ky flooding drone footage
Knott County, Ky flooding drone footage

Portions of eastern Kentucky received more than 8 inches of rain from Wednesday into Thursday morning, overwhelming creeks, streams and ground already saturated from previous rain, the National Weather Service said. Flood and flash flood warnings are in effect for portions of eastern Kentucky into Thursday afternoon.

Earlier Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a statewide State of Emergency and activated the National Guard.

“Hundreds will lose their homes. It’s going to take not months, but likely years, for many families to rebuild and recover,” said Gov. Beshear.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said “a number of people” are unaccounted for and he expects “double-digit deaths”.

As many as 4 million people remain under flood alerts across Kentucky, southern Ohio, West Virginia and southwestern Virginia.

Find more coverage below:

Floyd County Sheriff | “We had to rescue some on floating debris”

One dead, many still missing in Knott County following overnight flooding

National Guard, State of Emergency activated following flooding in eastern Ky

High water, mudslides reported following excessive rain in Kentucky counites

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