Hundreds Unaccounted for in Kentucky, Death Toll Rises

More severe rains are expected Tuesday
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2022 1:36 PM CDT
In Kentucky, No Firm Number of How Many Are Missing
Buildings and roads are flooded near Lost Creek, Ky., Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it's some of the worst flooding in state history.   (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Search-and-rescue crews continue to scour backroads and hollows in eastern Kentucky following catastrophic flooding last week. Officials raised the death toll to 35, and they expect it to keep climbing. Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for, reports the Lexington Herald Leader, but it’s nearly impossible to pin down an exact number of missing. Many areas remain inaccessible due to damaged roads and bridges. Following leads from concerned families and friends, searchers are going house to house, looking for signs of whether residents were present during the flood or have since evacuated.

"We have no way of getting ahold of them," Hazard Mayor Donald Mobelini told the Herald Leader. "If it looks like they were home at the time then [search teams] do a more detailed search. Our job is to locate them and make sure they are safe." At a Sunday news conference, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear raised hope that the number of missing would decline sharply once cell service is restored, as was the case following last year’s devastating tornadoes in the western part of the state. Beshear also listed those known to have died so far, per CNN, and he "became visibly emotional when he reached the four children dead in Knott County," identified as siblings Chance, 2; Nevaeh, 4; Riley Jr., 6; and Madison, 8.

Later, on Meet the Press, the governor said he expects searchers will be "finding bodies for weeks … many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter-mile plus from where they were last." Cell signals were restored in some areas Monday; about 12,500 households remain without power, down from 30,000 over the weekend, per Fox 23,. However, as the New York Times reports, more rain is expected Monday into Tuesday. (Read more Kentucky stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.