Kentucky flood death toll reaches 39 after more than 1,300 rescues

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the death toll in the catastrophic flooding rose Thursday afternoon to 39.

“We have more difficult news in Eastern Kentucky. The official flood toll has now risen to 39, with an additional loss in Breathitt County,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I ask the Commonwealth to join me in praying for our fellow Kentucky people during this difficult time,” he said.

The death toll includes the loss of Knott County High School student Aaron “Mick” Crawford, who died after assisting with cleanup efforts.

KENTUCKY, 18, DIES AFTER HELPING FLOOD CLEANUP: ‘HE LOVED EVERYONE AND LOVED DEEPLY’

His mother, Ronda Crawford, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that her son “went into cardiac arrest,” but the family still doesn’t know what caused her son’s death.

In addition, two people are still missing: Nancy Cundiff, 29, and Vanessa Baker, 60, both from Breathitt County.

A man stands near a pile of debris as residents begin to clean up and rebuild in Fleming-Neon, Ky., Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, after massive flooding the previous week.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Authorities are asking anyone with information about either woman to contact the Kentucky State Police in Hazard at 606-435-6069.

The state is moving from an emergency phase to what Beshear’s office called a “stabilization phase.”

“I see our response to this flood in three phases: emergency, stabilization and reconstruction,” he said in a statement. “It was the most devastating and deadliest flood our republic has seen in my lifetime. But the good news is that we are probably out of the emergency phase of the response to this disaster. We are now entering the stabilization phase, then we can start rebuilding.”

A total of 1,334 rescues were carried out between July 28 and August 2 by the Kentucky National Guard, Tennessee National Guard, West Virginia National Guard, Kentucky State Police and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources of Kentucky.

A truck is sunk in water after massive flooding in Hindman, Ky., Aug. 2, 2022.

A truck is sunk in water after massive flooding in Hindman, Ky., Aug. 2, 2022.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Hundreds of Kentucky residents displaced by the floods were staying in trailers, state parks and mass shelters.

SEN. RAND PAUL CALLS ON BIDEN TO ALLOW UNUSED COVID FUNDS TO BE SPENT ON POST-DISASTER RECONSTRUCTION

The Kentucky National Guard distributed nearly 39,094 water bottles and 43,882 meals.

Some water supply and sewage systems were not operational.

More than 225 trucks loaded with debris were removed from six counties.

President Biden (R) listens to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speak during a briefing on ongoing response efforts to recent flooding at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, Kentucky on August 8, 2022.

President Biden (R) listens to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speak during a briefing on ongoing response efforts to recent flooding at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, Kentucky on August 8, 2022.
(Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Beshear said FEMA is turning down too many requests for assistance.

The governor said he has raised his concerns with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and top FEMA administrators.

FEMA press secretary Jeremy Edwards said late Thursday that agency staff would be in the flood-hit area “as long as it takes” to help Kentuckians recover. Edwards said the agency’s management is working to “reduce barriers and reduce red tape.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“If you’ve been denied help, it’s not necessarily the end of the road,” he said. “Something as simple as a missing document can render an application ineligible. The system isn’t perfect, and we know bureaucracy can be frustrating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About Harold Fergus

Check Also

West Kentucky Heart Walk helps raise awareness | New

The West Kentucky Heart Walk, one of more than 300 walks the American Heart Association …