Earlier in the day, the governor said the state expects “massive property damage” that “will take not months, but likely years for many families to rebuild and recover from.” A total of 25,111 people statewide are without power, he added.
Beshear has activated the Kentucky National Guard and signed a state of emergency, which “will release the necessary resources and also tell the people of eastern Kentucky that we will be there for them,” he said. Beshear also established the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to secure funding for ‘families in need’ tweeted.
The Perry County sheriff, where two of the three were killed, described the flooding as “unlike (anything) I’ve ever seen.”
Authorities have not released the names of the victims, but said one of them was 81 years old. The other fatality occurred in Knott County.
“We’ve been getting reports all night from people that we just haven’t been able to reach,” Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle told NBC News. “So hoping the water will retreat and come down to get them, but I’m not sure how many people are still trapped.”
Perry County Emergency Management Director Jerry Stacy told The Associated Press that “we’re just in rescue mode right now.”
“Extreme flash floods and mudslides are everywhere,” he said by phone Thursday morning as he struggled to reach his office in Hazard.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted about the floods and calls anyone who needs help to contact his office.
“Pray for all those affected,” he wrote.