At least 25 have people died in Kentucky– including four children – in the flooding caused by the torrential rains and flash floods earlier this week, Gov. Andy Breshear said Saturday.
“We continue to pray for the families that have suffered an unfathomable loss,” the GOP governor said. “Some having lost almost everyone in their household.”
The governor said search-and-rescue operations continue, while some residents in hard-hit Appalachia returned to flood-ravaged homes to shovel mud and debris and to salvage what they can, according to the Associated Press.
Rescue crews are struggling to reach hard-hit areas, among the poorest in the United States.
Beshear also said Saturday that the death toll will likely increase significantly and that rescuers might need weeks to find all the survivors. Crews have made over 1,200 rescues from helicopters and boats, the wire service also reports.
President Biden has declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to over a dozen Kentucky counties.
The flooding extended into western Virginia and southern West Virginia, also according to the Associated Press.