TE24 International Desk:
Flash floods caused by torrential rains have killed at least eight people in eastern Kentucky and trapped some residents on roofs and trees, the governor of the south-central US state said Thursday. Extreme weather events have occurred around the world in recent months. , scientists say the events are an unmistakable sign of climate change, AFP reports.
This is going to be the worst flooding in recent memory — devastating and deadly,” Gov. Andy Bessier told local NBC affiliate WLEX in an interview. “We’re going to end up with double-digit deaths. Right now, I believe we can confirm at least eight, but that number seems to be rising by the hour.” Among the dead was an 81-year-old woman from Perry County. Beshear said responders rescued “between 20 and 30” people by air. He previously described standing on rooftops or climbing trees to escape floodwaters while awaiting rescue.
Rivers, piled-up cars, and many roads over low-lying rooftops in the state’s Appalachian region resemble the landscape and muddy brown floodwaters. Some areas reported more than eight inches (20 cm) of rain in 24 hours The North Fork of the Kentucky River at Whitesburg, normally one to two feet deep at this time of year, rose to an astonishing 20 feet, topping its previous record of 14.7 feet.
The governor said states of emergency had been declared in half a dozen counties and four National Guard helicopters had been deployed to assist in rescue efforts. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife deployed the Zodiac boat to rescue the water. “There are a lot of people out there that need help,” Bessier told reporters earlier in the day. “And we’re doing everything we can to reach every one of them. “The situation right now is difficult,” he added. “Hundreds of people will lose their homes, and it’s going to be another case that it’s not months for many families to rebuild and recover, but maybe It will take years,” he said.
Beshear said around 25,000 homes were without power statewide, and many were without water.The National Weather Service said the area was still at risk of flash flooding and warned more heavy rain was expected.White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden had been briefed about the flooding.Jean-Pierre said Deanne Criswell, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would travel to Kentucky on Friday and report back to the president.
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