Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the state is in an emergency situation after it was hit by a historic flood that he’s calling the deadliest and most devastating flood he has seen in his entire lifetime.
Multiple news reports flooding social media at the moment say that at least 30 people have died in the Appalachia region of eastern Kentucky and National Guards from three different states are rescuing hundreds still trapped in the floodwaters.
“This is one of the most devastating, deadly floods that we have seen in our history,” Beshear told NBC on Sunday, according to ACCU Weather. “With the level of water, we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter-mile-plus from where they were lost.”
What makes matters worse is the region is expected to receive more rainfall which will certainly make the already dire situation, even worse.
Four siblings aged one to eight were reportedly swept from their parents’ grip during the flood and are among the list of people who tragically died.
Kentucky Governor Beshear said the death toll will continue to rise as “hundreds” of people are still unaccounted for.
Hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded and as of the time of press, over 12,000 households remain without power.
Beshear added that it will take millions of dollars to repair all the roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that was damaged by the flood. He toured some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods over the weekend.
Beshear said he had seen “houses swept away” and “schools ruined. Many people “only have the clothes on their backs. Everything is ruined.”
Many of the rescued residents have been relocated to take refuge in state parks, churches, and mobile homes brought in by the state. Those willing to aid in the disaster response can do so via the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund
The fund has raised over $684,000 as of Saturday afternoon receiving over 5,600 donations. The state says the funds will go to families who need to pay funeral costs for lost loved ones.
“It’s the least we can do, to be there with these folks in an incredibly difficult time,” Beshear said, according to ACCU Weather. “We care about you, and we can’t imagine the grief you’re going through right now.”
There is also an official GoFundMe setup called the Kentucky Flood Relief where you can donate and read the stories of individuals and families. Donate here.
Donations to Save the Children through their website will also go towards delivering essential items to Kentucky kids, families, and communities like clean drinking water, hygiene kits, diapers, wipes, cribs, and cleaning supplies.
The Salvation Army is also another place where folks can donate. The establishment is already there supporting local communities.
Those directly impacted by the floods can contact FEMA for federal grants. The grants cover temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses, and other programs for home and business owners. These people can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is also providing vouchers worth $50 for flood victims where they can buy clothes or other supplies. Updates on how to get the vouchers will soon be posted to the company’s Facebook Page.