U.S. Flooding Updates: Kentucky Homes Nearly Underwater

Live Updates
  • Heavy rainfall continues to bring massive flooding across the country; from Appalachia to the Las Vegas strip.
  • The death toll in Kentucky jumped to at least 16 Friday morning and is expected to "more than double," according to Governor Andy Beshear.
  • Search and rescue efforts are underway throughout eastern Kentucky as more rainfall and flash flooding is expected across the region today.
  • President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky and authorized federal aid to help with recovery efforts in the state.
  • Floodwaters leaked into some hotels and casinos in Las Vegas as thunderstorms rolled through the city Thursday night.
  • Another round of flooding hit St. Louis, Missouri where dozens were rescued.

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Flooded Home Kentucky
A house is seen almost completely submerged off of the Bert T Combs Mountain Parkway on July 29, 2022 in Breathitt County, Kentucky. At least 16 people have been killed and hundreds had to be rescued amid flooding from heavy rainfall. Michael Swensen/Getty Images

Kentucky Homes Nearly Underwater

Several communities in eastern Kentucky are nearly underwater after historic flooding hit the region this week.

Road Signs Amid Flooding
Homes Flooded Kentucky
Homes Flooded
Flooding Downton Breathitt County

News Nation's Robert Sherman shared video of a neighborhood in Haddix, KY, where just a few feet of elevation separated the homes that survived from the ones that were destroyed.

Homes that are not underwater did not escape the impacts of the flooding.

In Hindman, KY, homes, cars and trees were damaged from the floods.

Kentucky Search and Rescue Efforts 'Ongoing'

Search and rescue efforts are "ongoing" in parts of Kentucky with many people still unaccounted for, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said during a Friday afternoon press briefing.

While assessing the flooding situation alongside Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, Beshear said he saw "no fewer than six helicopters" out looking for people in need of rescue. The governor, who arrived at the briefing by helicopter alongside FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, said he has "seen a lot" during his time in office, but said the flooding this week has been "by far the worst."

Beshear said National Guard pilots took him, Criswell and other FEMA officials to fly over Perry, Breathitt and Jackson counties, where they all assessed the flooding damage. There were parts of Eastern Kentucky with high water levels that they haven't yet been able to assess, he said.

In a Friday afternoon tweet, Beshear shared a photo of himself inside a helicopter and wrote, "the situation is even more devastating to see firsthand." He called for people to support impacted families and provided a link to a relief fund.

Criswell told reporters they got a "firsthand look at some of the damage and devastation that these communities have experienced as a result of these floods" during their tour of flooded areas on Friday.

In places where the floodwater has not yet receded, many homes are "still inundated," Criswell said. Other homes will face access problems "for some time" due to impacted roads and bridges, she added.

While helicopter crews searched by air for people needing rescue, Criswell said urban search and rescue crews were also on the ground looking for people in need. FEMA is working with Beshear's office to document the destruction and will "add additional assistance as warranted," she said.

Beshear said additional updates will be forthcoming, with a written update from his office expected later Friday.

Kentucky flooding rescue crews
Lexington Firefighters' swift water rescue teams head up overflowed Troublesome Creek to rescue people in Lost Creek, Kentucky on July 29, 2022. Michael Swensen/Getty Images

Kentucky City Runs Out of Water

The city of Hazard, Kentucky was without water Friday afternoon amid historic flooding in the state.

The city lost two of its waterlines as heavy rainfall moved through the area. The city said some waterlines will remain underwater until the river recedes.

A boil water advisory is in effect for residents who have water.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that officials plan to airlift water to some areas in need that are unreachable by road.

Flooding Does Not Stop Gambler at Vegas Casino

The heavy rainfall and flooding could not keep everyone away from the tables at Las Vegas casinos.

One patron at the Fremont Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas stayed at a gambling table as rainwater poured down on him from the leak in the ceiling.

His hat kept some of the water off of his face, but he continued to play as water splashed against his screen.

At Least 6 Children Killed in Kentucky Flooding

At least six children have died in the flooding in Kentucky this week, Governor Andy Beshear said Friday.

"We've got at least six dead children," Beshear said during a press briefing Friday afternoon. "And it's hard. It's even harder for those families and those communities."

Beshear said officials "are starting to receive more information of more deaths" but said there was not yet an official updated death total. Search and rescue efforts are "ongoing," he said, adding that there are "still a lot of people unaccounted for."

"We're going to do our best to find them all," he said.

The number of people lost in the flooding is likely to change over "the next several weeks," Beshear said.

"Some of these areas, it's hard to know exactly how many people were there," he said. "We might not have an exact number, and people who live in the area might not have an exact number."

Earlier in the day, The Lexington Herald-Leader published an article about four children who had been lost in the flooding. Beshear referenced the article during the briefing and said the bodies of those four children have been located.

Over 22,000 Customers Without Power in Kentucky

More than 22,000 customers in Kentucky were without power Friday afternoon after storms swept through the state, causing significant flooding. Kentucky Power warned it may take days to restore service.

As of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, PowerOutage.US reported 22,077 customers were without power throughout the state. Most of those customers—an estimated 14,381—were in Perry County and another 12,145 customers were in Letcher County. The other counties most impacted by power outages were Knott, Breathitt, Lee, Owsley, Clay, Leslie and Martin, according to PowerOutage.US's state map.

More than 20,000 of the customers impacted by power outages were serviced by Kentucky Power. The utility company's website said 20,613 customers were without power as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Kentucky Power said on Twitter that it had more than 450 employees and partners working together to address the outages, with more "out-of-state resources joining restoration" efforts on Friday.

The utility company said resolving the outage issues would be a "multi-day restoration event most extending to next week."

WATCH: Governor Beshear Gives Update on Kentucky Flooding

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is holding another press conference soon to provide the latest updates on flooding across the state.

Earlier Friday, Beshear announced that 16 people have died in connection with the flooding. At the time, Beshear said he expected that number to increase as rescue and recovery efforts continue.

This afternoon's press conference is expected to start at 1:45 p.m. ET. Watch live on the governor's YouTube channel or below:

Las Vegas Hotels, Casinos Flooded

Several Las Vegas hotel-casinos were flooded Thursday after heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across the city.

Water was coming through the massive screens mounted on the walls of Circa Sportsbook, located downtown.

A Flash Flood and Severe Thunderstorm warning was issued Thursday night for the Las Vegas Valley. The National Weather Service in Las Vegas advised residents to watch out for heavy downpours, lightning and strong wind gust.

There was also flooding inside Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. People captured video of water coming down from the ceiling into casino.

Ceiling tiles fell down on tables inside the casino as patrons stood by recording videos.

There was also heavy flooding outside of casinos. The parking garage of the Linq hotel on the Strip looked like a roaring river as water rushed outside to the street-- a regular occurrence during flooding events.

Satellite Captures 'Catastrophic' Floods in Kentucky

A satellite operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) captured images of this week's "catastrophic" flooding in Kentucky.

NOAA shared a short video clip on social media Friday morning that was taken from the satellite's recording.

The satellite "watched as strong thunderstorms dumped extremely heavy rainfall" that resulted in the "catastrophic flash flooding" in the eastern part of the state, the NOAA tweeted. The administration reminded Kentucky residents that flood watches and warnings will be in effect in most parts of the area through Friday.

Several local reporters also took photos and videos of the flooding that they posted on social media.

Early Friday morning, John-Carlos Estrada of KEYE-TV shared a video that he credited to Chaudhary Parvez of the flooding in Buckhorn. The video showed buildings and a children's playground submerged in floodwater.

Mandy Noell with WDKY-TV, also shared a video of the flooded North Fork Kentucky River on Friday. The river reached its highest point on record, Noell said, and debris was "floating freely" along its current.

Two Children Among 16 Dead in Kentucky

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear just gave a press briefing to provide an update on the flooding across the state.

He said the death toll has reached 16 and is "gonna get a lot higher."

There are 11 dead in Knott County, including a 63-year-old man, 65-year-old woman and two children.

An 81 year-old woman died in Perry County, a 79-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman died in Letcher County and two are dead in Clay County including a 76-year-old woman.

Beshear said the state does not have a reliable number of people who are unaccounted for due to communication issues. He said it will be "very challenging" to get good numbers in the eastern part of the state and asked people to contact the state police to report missing family members.

There are 10 shelters set up in the state, including four from the Red Cross.

In total, there are 337 people in shelters, Beshear said.

Twelve counties and two cities declared states of emergency. Those counties in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Letcher, Owsley, Pike, Lee, Perry, Leslie, Magoffin, Johnson and Knott.

Beshear added that his state of emergency declaration does cover every county in the state.

Additionally, residents in part of Jackson, Kentucky were evacuated Thursday night due to fears that the Panbowl Dam would breach.

State officials thought a dam breach was imminent and went door-to-door to evacuate people. On Friday morning, Beshear said officials were more optimistic that the dam would hold up. Medical centers around the dam were also evacuated Thursday out of an abundance of caution.

Main roads and bridges in several counties have also been severely damaged from the "historic" flooding, Beshear said.

Sixty People Rescued in St. Louis Flooding

Emergency crews rescued 60 people during the flooding Thursday in St. Louis, Missouri, according to the St. Louis Fire Department.

Firefighters said they responded to 75 flash flood-related emergency calls between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Of the calls they received, 60 people required help to escape "high/rising flood waters," the fire department said. An update the department posted Thursday night said there hadn't been any injuries immediately reported in connection with Thursday's flooding.

On Friday morning, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she and Public Safety Director Dan Isom visited the Kingsway West neighborhood "to hear from impacted residents and assess damage." She said the local government "is working hard to connect residents" with support and tweeted a link to flood information and resources for residents.

The Thursday storm brought between 2 and 4 inches of rain, according to the Associated Press. Storms earlier in the week brought as much as 10 to 12 inches of rain in parts of Missouri.

The National Weather Service said on Friday that "mild and mostly dry" weather is expected on Friday and Saturday, though it said "a few showers are possible." Experts said rain was likely to return to the area by Sunday.

Crews Rescue 15 Children From St. Louis Daycare

Over a dozen children were rescued from a daycare in St. Louis, Missouri.

The St. Louis Fire Department responded to the Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church during the height of flooding Thursday, according to Fire Department Staff Officer Garon Patrick Mosby.

There were 15 children and three adults trapped as rising flood waters filled the daycare facility inside the church.

Fire fighters carried six small children to safety, officials said.

The Fire Department said no injuries were immediately reported.

Mosby shared an image of the road conditions outside the daycare facility, showing parked cars almost completely submerged in flood waters.

At Least 16 Dead in Appalachian Flooding

At least 16 people have now died in Appalachian flooding, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said Friday, warning the death toll will "get a lot higher."

Beshear provided the update during a late morning briefing, saying the deaths were reported across four eastern Kentucky counties, according to the Associated Press.

"The tough news is 16 confirmed fatalities now, and folks that's going to get a lot higher," Beshear said as rescue teams continue search efforts in the area.

Kentucky Rescues
Members of the Morehead Fire Department conduct search and rescue operations downtown on July 28, 2022 in Jackson, Kentucky. Michael Swensen/Getty Images

Death Tolls Hits 15 in Eastern Kentucky

The death toll in eastern Kentucky reached 15 Friday morning, according to Governor Andy Beshear.

"We have now lost at least 15 Kentuckians, though that number is going to grow probably more than double," Beshear said in a video address. He added that entire families may be lost.

Over 23,000 people are still without power and many counties are without water. Beshear said there have been around 50 air rescues and hundreds of boat rescues. He thanked the National Guard, Kentucky State Police and local "heroes" for their help.

He said the state is still in search and rescue mode and, in some areas, the flood waters won't crest until Saturday.

Those who want to help can bring water and cleaning supplies to shelters and make donations to the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.

Biden Approves Federal Aid for Kentucky

President Joe Biden approved funding to support disaster relief efforts in Kentucky amid deadly flooding.

Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky Friday morning and directed federal aid for recovery efforts in the state.

This funding will help state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures for several counties. Funding will also be available for hazard mitigation measures across the state in the areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell appointed Brett Howard as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in those areas.

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