Gov. Beshear has declared a state of emergency for Floyd, Breathitt, Clay, Owsley, Letcher, and Pike Counties.
"We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky's history. The situation is dynamic and ongoing," said Gov. Beshear in a 9:30 news conference Thursday morning.
The governor confirmed three people are dead, but he said, "I expect double-digit deaths." Two people in Perry County—an 81-year-old woman and an unidentified person—and another unidentified person from Knott County.
Beshear tells people to call (606) 435-6069 to report any missing loved ones. He says to keep calling until your call goes through.
Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle confirmed at least one person is dead as crews continue to respond to flooded neighborhoods and mobile home communities.
Engle has been sheriff for four years and in law enforcement for 25 years. He calls this flooding "historically unlike anything he has ever seen."
Perry County Judge Executive's Office confirmed 20 people are missing—and likely more—as people are still on top of roofs.
Hundreds are expected to lose their homes as severe flooding impacts parts of Eastern Kentucky. Water rescues are taking place, Governor Beshear said. Deaths are expected, he added. We're heading to Breathitt County, where a State of Emergency has been declared. @LEX18News— Ricky Sayer (@RickyReports) July 28, 2022
High water has forced families to evacuate their homes and find shelter wherever possible.
Three Kentucky state parks—Jenny Wiley, Buckhorn Lane, Pine Mountain—are open as shelters for people displaced by the severe flooding.
- Breathitt County shelters: Breathitt County Courthouse
- Floyd County shelters: Floyd Co Community Center
- Hazard shelters: First Presbyterian Church, East Perry Elementary, West Perry Elementary, Gospel Light Baptist Church, Second Creek Church of God, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Lodge
- Pike County shelters: Thacker Memorial Funeral Home, Shelby Valley High School
Buckhorn School in Perry County flooded.
Lexington Fire Department sent swift water crews to Lost Creek, KY to assist with the flooding in that region and rescue up to three people that are trapped in the Riverside Christian School.
Rescue efforts are underway here in Lost Creek as we are hearing reports of people trapped in homes. At least two people are still trapped at a nearby school. The water is still rising. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/8RJ7Fh8oTS— Ricky Sayer (@RickyReports) July 28, 2022
Clay County's treasurer says that the damage is pretty much countywide. Officials have received more than 30 calls Thursday morning of people that are stranded and looking to be rescued.
The severe weather is causing power outages across the state. For the latest update on power outages, head to poweroutage.us.