On Thursday, the death toll from flooding in Eastern Kentucky rose to 39, and Governor Andy Beshear said the region was moving into the recovery phase of the crisis after torrential rains last month destroyed hundreds of homes and wiped out entire communities.
While two women were still missing in Breathitt County, the county coroner, Hargis Epperson, said the governor did not release any information about the victim.
Among the deceased is Aaron “Mick” Crawford, a teenager from Knott County who became ill and passed away a few days after aiding in the cleanup. Late in July, a series of storms passed through the area, causing flooding.
Storms lingered, promising more precipitation and preventing water from quickly receding in some areas. Beshear stated on Thursday that the immediate crisis had subsided now that the rainy weather had passed and that efforts would shift to recovery.
Beshear claims that the 39 flood victims came from a variety of counties:
Counties in Breathitt: 9
The numbers are as follows: 3 (Letcher County) 2 (Clay County) 18 (Knockt County)
Toto: 7 in Perry County
He also noted that as a result of relief efforts, the number of people staying in shelters had decreased. As of Thursday, 162 individuals were housed in communal shelters, while 321 were housed in state parks.
McConnell: In a visit to flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky, Senators McConnell and Paul have pushed for the use of COVID funds to help those in need.
According to him, over the course of the last two weeks, many wastewater management systems have stabilized and returned to normal operation. The flooding caused the loss of 18 systems in the area. He said on Thursday that number had dropped to five.
Beshear pointed out that donations of potable water were crucial in the immediate aftermath of the floods, but that most in the region have since progressed to the point where such donations are no longer necessary.
Beshear declared, “Our goal was to take so much water to these counties that they said, ‘Please stop bringing us water.’”
Although water service has been restored to a large portion of the region, many areas are still under a boil water advisory, with about 35,000 people still advised to boil water before consuming it. This number is down from about 46,000 on July 28. Meanwhile, power outages have decreased from over 40,000 on July 28 to 6,325 as of Thursday, with “those mainly just being located in a couple of areas,” as Beshear put it.
In case you’re a paying customer:
A mother in Kentucky tied herself to her children with a vacuum cord so that they wouldn’t be separated as historic flooding raged.
However, we haven’t stopped working. Beshear, a Democrat in a state with a Republican supermajority, said he had discussed convening a special session of the legislature to address the issue of how to pay for recovery efforts. He hasn’t set a date for the meeting yet, but he wants to “do it as early as we can.”
“The situation is excellent. The situation is improving significantly. It’s been talked about, “And he went on to say. “All parties are in agreement. Various strategies have been proposed, but they are all on the right track.”
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This article was published in the USA TODAY: Water and electricity have been restored, bringing the death toll from the flooding in Eastern Kentucky to 39.
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