Dozens dead in US flood — Analysis
Kentucky’s torrential downpours have claimed the lives of at least 25 people. The search for those missing could drag on for several weeks.
The devastating rains that have swept across the Appalachian Region of the US killed at least 25 people, and left many others missing.
Since Friday’s catastrophic flooding, Kentuckians have seen their death toll rise repeatedly. Governor Andy Beshear stated on Saturday that it could take several weeks for all the victims to be found. Four young children, who were caught in the flood and tossed from their homes as they tried to hold on to trees for support were among those who were found dead.
“We are in search and rescue mode,”Beshear spoke to reporters. “That count is going to continue to go up, and we don’t lose this many people in flooding. It’s just a real tough one.”
Many roads and bridges were either damaged or blocked with debris, making rescue difficult. Some residents were left stranded on roofs. A minimum of 1,200 individuals have been saved by boat or helicopter.
On Saturday, thousands of households were without power or water. In some places, mobile phone service was also cut off leaving many people without a way to reach their loved ones. There is no accurate data on the number of people who lived in these remote flood-ravaged areas.
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“Until we have full cell phone service up, you could assume there are hundreds of people – they might be fine, I hope they’re fine – that their loved ones haven’t established contact with them yet,”“The governor declared.”
In a 24 hour period, the region received eight to 10.5 inches of rainfall. This flooded some of America’s poorest communities. According to reports, the Kentucky River rose six feet higher than its old record. On Sunday, heavy rains could return to the area.
“I’m worried that we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks to come,”Beshear added.
This latest Kentucky catastrophe occurred in the same week as St. Louis, which was hit by more than 9 inches of rainfall in 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday. It broke the record set since 1915. On Thursday, a second round of torrential rainfalls hit St. Louis. It flooded parts of the city, and left at least two dead.
Beshear stated that the damage to Kentucky could take many years before communities can rebuild. Last year 70 were killed in the state by tornadoes. “I don’t want to lose another Kentuckian,”“The governor declared.” “We have lost far too many.”
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