The situation in Kentucky is growing more and more serious, as the flooding that has destroyed so many people’s homes and caused so much chaos is now responsible for the death of at least three people. Several others are missing, and it is not known exactly what can be done to retrieve them. Rescue teams are continuing their searches in the areas where the missing people are believed to be, but at this point there is no more news on whether or not they have been found.
The extreme flooding was caused by several storms that hit one after another, leaving the ground no time to soak up the excess water. When that was combined with torrential rainfall between Monday 13 July and Tuesday 14 July, it very quickly became clear that flooding in the Eastern Kentucky region was inevitable – but few could have predicated that the consequences of that flooding was going to be so dangerous and so deadly.
As reports started to come in from the Johnson and Rowan counties in Kentucky, the numbers of homes that had been damaged by the flooding started to creep up, until the reports stated that at the very least 150 homes in Johnson County had been damaged badly, and more or less than 60 homes in Rowan County had experienced similar problems. Many homes have been completely destroyed, while others are damaged to the point where those who live there cannot remain there safely.
But the tragedy only continued when a fatality was reported from Johnson County. The man was attempting to travel through the flood in his car, but when his car stalled he did not remain in the relative safety of his car. Instead, he opened up the door and was swept away by the rising water. His body was found on Monday 13 July. The second fatality was reported on Tuesday 14 July, and was a woman who had been crushed by debris from mobile homes that had been washed away by the flood waters. Another body was found in the same location two days later, during part of the clear up operation.
These are terrible things to report, but there are still many people who are worried for the six other people who have been reported missing during the flooding and have not been found. Thankfully due to the local rescue services, there have been fifty people who could have been fatalities but were rescued just in time. Many minor injuries have been reported across both Johnson and Rowan Counties, and there are still currently around 19,000 people who have lost power to their homes.
Many different organizations have mobilized their people to Eastern Kentucky in order to support local services in the search and rescue and clean-up operations. These include the Kentucky National Guard, the Red Cross (donate here), and KYEM. Support has come in other ways as well, through the provision of food and shelter for those who have been made homeless by the storms, or who still have no means of cooking food for themselves due to the lack of power.
The situation in Eastern Kentucky is so serious that Governor Steve Beshear has declared a state of emergency. This will permit the local officials to use state resources in order to help protect and serve the people of Johnson County and Rowan County. It was only four months ago that a state of emergency was declared in Kentucky, and that situation in April was also due to extreme flooding. Sadly there are even more extreme weather warnings for Kentucky, and so the fight against the rainfall and the flooding is not over yet.
California residents and business owners who need post-disaster flooding restoration services, contact (610) 376-6838