Death toll rises to 25 in Kentucky flooding, 'likely to increase,' governor says

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said 25 people have been confirmed dead in the state's devastating flooding, saying the number is "likely to increase."

On Friday, Beshear said "a lot of people" remain unaccounted for.

"We're going to do our best to find them all," Beshear said, without providing a number of the missing.

Beshear toured the devastation by helicopter on Friday and called it the worst flooding he's seen since being in office.

The official death toll stands at 16, including two children.

Beshear said Friday afternoon that he's learned of the recovery of four children's bodies, adding, "We do not have an official update at this time as they have to be verified" by the Department for Public Health.

The governor anticipated that authorities may be updating the number of deceased for "several weeks."

On Thursday, Beshear called it "one of the worst, most devastating" floods in the state's history and said he anticipates this will be one of the deadliest floods in Kentucky in "a very long time."

The flooding hit Kentucky late Wednesday, pounding the state with 2 to 5 inches of rain.

Kentucky is combating washed out roads, destroyed homes and flooded schools, according to the governor.

Thousands of residents are expected to lose their homes, he said.

More than 294 people have been rescued from floodwaters in eastern Kentucky so far and that number will likely rise, Beshear said.

The rain may return to Kentucky late Sunday through early next week, but significant rainfall isn't expected.

"While rain totals are not expected to be as high, flooding still remains a concern due to saturated grounds," the governor tweeted.

President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration and is receiving updates "very regularly," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.

"Our hearts break for the families of those who have lost their lives or are missing, and to all those who have been impacted," she said.

ABC News' Alexandra Faul, Kenton Gewecke, Josh Hoyos, Justin Ryan Gomez, Matt Foster and Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

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