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‘This Is So Deadly’: Kentucky Flooding Kills At Least 16 People, Death Toll Expected To Grow

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Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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Massive flooding in eastern Kentucky killed at least 16 people after ongoing rainfall destroyed homes and bridges, the Kentucky governor said Friday.

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear warned Friday that the death toll is expected to rise as the state prepares for further rainfall through Friday evening, reported CNN. The Weather Prediction Center has put the flash flooding risk at slight to moderate and warned the state could see an additional 1-3 inches of rainfall through the evening Friday, according to the outlet.

“There’s going to be multiple families that we’ve lost. Kids that won’t get the opportunity to grow up and experience so much that we have,” Beshear told CNN. “This is so deadly, and it hit so hard, and it hit in the middle of the night.”

Beshear told CNN that Kentucky has “never seen [flooding] like this.”

“Muddy discharge” spotted near Panbowl Lake’s dam raised concern among state officials, who sent out evacuation recommendations to people who lived and worked in the lake’s floodplain near Jackson, CNN reported. Authorities reportedly closed part of Kentucky Route 15 in response to flooding. (RELATED: Judge Blocks Kentucky Abortion Trigger Law After SCOTUS Ruling)

The governors of West Virginia and Virginia declared separate emergencies after heavy rainfall Thursday turned into severe heavy flooding. Democratic West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties: Fayette, Greenbrier, Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming.

“We were prepared for this. We knew that these rains were coming and that our people were going to have to be super, super careful,” Justice said in a statement. “We reached out to emergency management officials across the state this morning and determined that we had several counties in need of this emergency declaration, but we’re just thankful that it wasn’t worse. Very luckily, we have not yet seen any major life-threatening impacts from these storms.”

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency for the whole state due to massive flooding in the southwestern region.

“Southwest Virginia continues to be impacted by flooding after heavy rainfall in the area yesterday,” said Youngkin in a Thursday statement. “With more rainfall forecasted over the next few days, we want to lean forward in providing as many resources possible to assist those affected. Our team will continue to monitor the situation and provide assistance as needed.”