16+ Dead In Massive Kentucky Flooding

Kentucky Floods

Water Levels Reached Records Never Seen By As Much As 24 Feet.

The fatality count in a disastrous flood in eastern Kentucky has reached 16, including six children. “Folks, this is going to be much higher,” Gov. Andy Beshear said at Friday’s briefing. Earlier in the day, Beshear said he expected the death toll could hit 30.

The six children included four siblings — 8, 6, 4, and 1 — who were pulled out of their parents arms by rising waters, Beshear confirmed. Two parents, Amber Smith and Riley Noble were found alive, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Beshear also confirmed the deaths of an 81-year-old woman in Perry County, a 79-year-old man and 65-year-old woman in Letcher County, and a 76-year-old woman in Clay County. Beshear said that eleven deaths occurred in Knott County, including one 63-year-old man, one 65-year-old woman, and two children. Search-and-rescue teams supported by the National Guard have been working nonstop to find missing people – by helicopters and boats – and Beshear noted it is “tough” to pin down the number who are still missing.

More than 200 have sought refuge, and more than 23,000 Kentuckians are still without power. Twenty-three thousand customers were affected by the deadly floodwaters and mudslides, which damaged hundreds of homes and vehicles, according to poweroutage.us, a tracking website.

In a tweet, Beshear warned central and eastern Kentucky remains under a flood watch. “While rainfall totals are expected not to be quite as large, flooding remains of concern because of saturated soil. Please stay safe and watch out, Kentucky,” she wrote. The Jackson-based National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted the region will get a “fair amount of breaks” starting Friday evening into Saturday.

Water levels in the Jackson, KY area reached heights never recorded and by some estimates more than 24 feet higher than the previously recorded high.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Kentucky floods kill at least 16 as governor warns toll will be “a lot higher”  CBS News
  2. Kentucky flooding death toll reaches 16 and will ‘get a lot higher,’ governor says  Fox News
  3. She awoke by a flash flood warning. In less than an hour, her family’s home was washed away  CNN
  4. Eastern Ky. needs love, cash, paper towels and leaders who will act on climate change  Lexington Herald Leader
  5. Kentucky hit with deadly flooding following 2nd 1,000-year rain event in 3 days  Yahoo News


John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.