Kentucky floods: At least 16 dead as rescue teams deploy

Photo Credit : CNBC Appalachian floods kill at least 16 as rescue teams deploy

Kentucky’s governor said Friday (US time) that 16 people have died in Appalachian flooding, and the toll will rise as rescue teams search the disaster area.

“The tough news is 16 confirmed fatalities now, and folks that’s going to get a lot higher,” the governor said during a midday briefing. He said the deaths were in four eastern Kentucky counties.

Meanwhile, search and rescue teams backed by the National Guard were searching for people missing in record floods that wiped out entire communities in some of the poorest places in America.

“We’ve still got a lot of searching to do,” said Jerry Stacy, the emergency management director in Kentucky ’s hard-hit Perry County. “We still have missing people.”

Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns that hug creeks and streams in Appalachian valleys and hollows, swamping homes and businesses, trashing vehicles in useless piles and crunching runaway equipment and debris against bridges. Mudslides marooned people on steep slopes and at least 33,000 customers were without power.

Governor Andy Beshear told The Associated Press Friday that the dead in Kentucky included children, and said “I expect that number to more than double, probably even throughout today”.

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