(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Temperatures were expected to soar on Wednesday in a region of eastern Kentucky where people are shoveling out from the wreckage of massive flooding, many in places without electricity.
According to the National Weather Service, due to rising temperatures and humidity, heat indexes were close 100 at midday. A steam bath will be in effect through Thursday night.
This week’s weather added to the hardships in Knott County, where Kirsten Gomez’s husband and cousin were gutting their doublewide trailer of drywall, flooring and cabinets ruined by floodwaters from nearby Troublesome Creek.
“It is so miserable. The humidity is so high, it takes your breath,” Gomez said Tuesday. “Your clothes stick to you. Your hair is stuck to you. The mud has clung to your hair. … But I’m just blessed that we don’t have rain anymore.”
After forecasters had warned that heat-related diseases were possible in the area following the flooding, cooling centers were set up.
There were 37 deaths. Crews managed to rescue more than 1,300 people. However, some crews still struggle to reach those who are still without power due to floods and mudslides. According to Poweroutages.com, approximately 5,000 eastern Kentucky customers were still without electricity as of Wednesday morning. Many residents were evacuated to emergency shelters after their homes were destroyed or severely damaged.
The flooding that occurred in Virginia and West Virginia also affected areas where people remain without electricity.
Joe Biden, President of the United States declared a Federal Disaster to help counties that were flooded by 8-10 1/2 inches (20-27 centimeters), of rainfall in 48 hours in Appalachian Mountain region.
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