National Guard, State of Emergency activated following flooding in eastern Ky
KENTUCKY (WSAZ) - With a massive number of roads and homes covered by water Thursday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear addressed the commonwealth and unlocked emergency resources needed by activating the National Guard.
Beshear also signed a State of Emergency Thursday morning.
The governor called it “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history” Thursday morning during a press conference.
At least eight people have died following severe flooding that swallowed vehicles and reached into homes, leaving families stranded - some on rooftops.
“In most places we are not seeing receding water, in fact, in most places, it has not crested,” said Gov. Beshear. “What we are going to see coming out of this is massive property damage. We expect the loss of life. Hundreds will lose their homes.”
Beshear said Thursday this flooding event will likely take families years not months to rebuild and recover from.
The National Guard will be using three helicopters and deploying trucks to get through the high water, Gov. Beshear said. Kentucky State Police will also be deploying an extra helicopter for rescue operations and Fish and Wildlife crews are heading out into flood waters with boats to assist with rescue efforts.
“There are a lot of people in eastern Kentucky on top of roofs waiting to be rescued,” Beshear said.
The governor said “a number of people” are unaccounted for and he expects “double-digit deaths”.
Beshear said Thursday officials are opening three state parks to homeowners and families who have lost their homes.
Those parks are: Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Buckhorn and Pine Mountain State Resort Park.
The governor says there are roughly 23,000 customers without power statewide in Kentucky and that number is expected to go up. Water service has also been disrupted, including systems in Pike and Martin counties.
Beshear says the state has already ordered truckloads of water and are headed to impacted areas.
MEDVAC crews are preparing to leave Frankfort to assist with flooding in Eastern Kentucky, according to the Kentucky National Guard.
“The Kentucky Guard has launched multiple aircraft to provide support for hoist & rescue operations,” Lt. Col. Stephen Martin, AAAF commander.
MEDVAC crews are preparing to leave Frankfort, to assist with flooding in Eastern KY.— Kentucky Guard (@kentuckyguard) July 28, 2022
“Due to heavy rainfall and flooding in E. Kentucky, the Kentucky Guard has launched multiple aircraft to provide support for hoist & rescue operations” - Lt. Col. Stephen Martin, AAAF commander pic.twitter.com/G63IVFP3qD
Beshear has established the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist those impacted by the floods and the severe weather system beginning July 26, 2022.
If you wish to donate to the Relief Fund, please select an amount and click on the link below:
Floyd and Pike counties have already declared local State of Emergencies.
Minority Leader of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell released the following statement on Twitter Thursday:
“My prayers are with the families in Eastern Kentucky facing heavy floods, mudslides, and power outages this week. My team is in close contact with local officials and I’m ready to provide any help I can. Thank you to the first responders who are helping Kentuckians stay safe.”
My prayers are with the families in Eastern Kentucky facing heavy floods, mudslides, and power outages this week. My team is in close contact with local officials and I’m ready to provide any help I can. Thank you to the first responders who are helping Kentuckians stay safe.— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) July 28, 2022
Auditor Mike Harmon released the following statement Thursday on the emergency flooding situation in eastern Kentucky:
“My prayers are with our fellow Kentuckians being impacted by the devastating flash flooding going on in Breathitt, Knott, and Perry counties. I also pray for the safety of our first responders who are putting their lives on the line to save their neighbors, and crews working to restore power and cell service to the impacted areas.”
The West Virginia National Guard has also been deployed to assist in Kentucky.
The WVNG is sending two UH-60M Blackhawks and two UH-72 Lakota aircraft with 14 soldiers to assist.
They’ll remain in Kentucky as long as they’re needed.
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