Historic flooding in Kentucky has already claimed the lives of at least 16 people as the death toll is expected to rise even higher

At least 16 people, including two children, have been confirmed to have perished in Kentucky’s historic and tragic flooding.

Flooding in Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed the deaths Friday as he said to expect for the death toll to climb “a lot higher.”

Deaths have been reported in four of the Eastern Kentucky counties that have been impacted by the heavy flooding–Knott County, Clay County, Perry County, and Letcher County.

Over 23,000 residents are still without power as a disaster declaration was made and federal aid has been ordered to the state and local recovery efforts.

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“[The death toll] will probably more than double,” Beshear said earlier Friday. “We know some of the lost will include children. We may have even lost entire families.”

Search and rescue teams along with the National Guard completed roughly 50 air rescues and “hundreds” of boat saves, Beshear said, acknowledging the heroes who responded to the flooding and mudslides across the battered mountainous state.

“This situation is ongoing,” Beshear said earlier Friday. “We are still in the search and rescue mode and at least in some areas, the water is not going to crest until tomorrow.”

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In Montgomery, Kentucky, four children were swept away from their parents. The bodies of two of the children, ages 6 and 4, have been recovered. However, the other two remain missing.

Less than a year ago, Western Kentucky was pummeled by a powerful tornado. Now, Eastern Kentucky is struggling with the damages and loss of life caused by these floods and even more heavy rain and flooding is expected Friday.

This tragic loss of life is difficult to imagine as the final death toll is anticipated to peak in the thirties.

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