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More storms bring renewed flood threat in hard-hit Kentucky

by The Associated Press | August 6, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
A vehicle is abandoned and surrounded by mud caused by massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Thunderstorms on Friday brought a renewed threat of flooding to parts of Kentucky ravaged by high water a week ago.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch through this morning for nearly the entire state.

As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that killed at least 37 people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. Some places could receive up to 3 inches of rain by Friday night, and the storm system wasn't expected to let up until at least this evening, the weather service said.

"There's a lot of debris that's out there that could cause clogging in waterways that could lead to flooding," Beshear said at a news conference.

Due to unsafe travel conditions, Gov. Andy Beshear canceled visits to two flood-ravaged counties Friday.

The White House announced Friday that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel Monday to eastern Kentucky to survey the damage from last week's devastating floods and meet with those affected. The Bidens would join Beshear and his wife, Britainy, at an unspecified Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery center.

Last week's storm in eastern Kentucky sent floodwaters as high as rooftops. In the days afterward, more than 1,300 people were rescued as teams searched in boats and combed debris-clogged creekbanks. Beshear said Friday two people in Breathitt County remained missing.

Many residents are still waiting for their utilities to be restored. About 2,000 Kentucky customers remained without electricity Friday. Some entire water systems were severed or heavily damaged, prompting a significant response from the National Guard and others to distribute bottled water.

Beshear said authorities were checking on people in homes that were still habitable but who might be stranded in areas where private bridges were washed out. Emergency shelters and area state parks housed nearly 530 people who fled homes that were destroyed or badly damaged. Many more residents were staying with relatives and friends.

Biden declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to counties flooded after 8 to 10 1/2 inches of rain fell in just 48 hours last week in the Appalachian mountain region. Federal financial assistance also was being offered to many residents for repairs to privately owned access roads and bridges. The state also was offering disaster unemployment assistance.

The weather service also posted flood watches for much of West Virginia and through the Washington, D.C., area.

photo Debris gathers atop a slide in a children's play area after massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo Debris gathers on the fence of a baseball dugout after massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo A vehicle is abandoned and surrounded by mud caused by massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo Debris gathers atop playground equipment after massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo A creek flows as fog moves over the hills on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo Steps lead to a home that was swept away by massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Haddix, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo A ground vent is coated in mud after massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Lost Creek, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo A holler leads up to the mountain Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, near Lost Creek, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
photo Piles of debris sit near a church after massive flooding on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Lost Creek, Ky. As residents continued cleaning up from the late July floods that several people, rain started falling on already saturated ground in eastern Kentucky late Friday morning. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Print Headline: More storms bring renewed flood threat in hard-hit Kentucky

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