As the area prepares for further rain, at least 37 people have now perished in flash floods in eastern Kentucky.
There are at least six children who died, including four siblings who were apparently swept from their parents’ grasp and were between the ages of one and eight.
The death toll would keep rising, according to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, as “hundreds” were still missing.
Additionally, hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded, and more than 12,000 residents continue to be without electricity.
According to the governor, fixing the damage to the roads, bridges, and other infrastructure will cost millions of dollars.
Mr. Beshear claimed to have witnessed “homes swept away” and “schools devastated” during his weekend tour of some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods.
The area hasn’t experienced flash flooding like this in decades.
If things weren’t already difficult for the residents of this region, rain is falling right now, according to Mr. Beshear, who termed the flood “the bloodiest and most disastrous of my lifetime.”
Locals who have been displaced have sought refuge in state parks, churches, and mobile homes that the state has brought in. The number of persons in shelters is said to be over 300.
According to Mr. Beshear, many people “just have the clothing on their backs.” Everything is destroyed.
Due to “excessive looting,” overnight curfews have been imposed in two devastated counties.
Looting will not be tolerated under any circumstances, an official from Breathitt County stated on Facebook on Sunday night.
“Our friends and neighbors have suffered tremendous losses; we cannot watch while they lose what little they still have.”
Eva Nicole Slone, 50, who had ventured outside in the storm in Knott County on Thursday to check on an elderly neighbor, was one among those who perished.
The following day, Ms. Slone’s body was discovered close to her home, according to her daughter.
The children were ripped from their parents’ arms, as described by their aunt to the media as “they were clinging on to them.”
“The flood became so powerful that it simply washed them away.”
The floods have been deemed a “serious disaster” by President Joe Biden, who has also ordered government assistance for local rescues.