Death Toll In Kentucky Flooding Rises

Devastating flash floods have killed at least 19 people in the Appalachia region of eastern Kentucky – the worst such disaster there for decades.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said he expected the death toll to continue to rise. He said hundreds of homes and businesses had been flooded.

President Joe Biden has declared the floods “a major disaster” and ordered federal aid to help local rescuers.

Among the dead are at least six children, including a one-year-old. 

Scientists say climate change is triggering more extreme weather events like the Kentucky flooding.

After an aerial tour with the National Guard, Mr Beshear said the flood “is by far the worst” he has seen. 

“There’s still a lot of people out there, still a lot of people unaccounted for. We’re going to do our best to find them all,” he said. So far hundreds have been rescued by boat or helicopter.

There is widespread poverty in the affected area, where at least 33,000 people now have no electricity. The flooding – after torrential rain – caused mudslides and made roads impassable.