President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for Kentucky on Friday as the death toll rose to at least 25 — including several children — as a result of the catastrophic flooding in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky’s governor warned that it might take weeks to discover all of the victims of flash flooding, which killed at least 25 people when torrential rains swept through towns throughout the region.
Country and Bluegrass signer, Tyler Childers, who rallied his supporters in the past to support communities impacted by catastrophic flooding encouraged his fans to contribute to local relief efforts.
The rain slowed down on Friday after parts of eastern Kentucky received between 8 and 10 1/2 inches over 48 hours. But some creeks and rivers were not expected to crest until Saturday and local officials warned the death toll could rise further.
“From everything we’ve seen, we may be updating the count of how many we lost for the next several weeks,” Beshear said. “In some of these areas, it’s hard to know exactly how many people were there.”
Governor Beshear has established the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist those impacted by the floods and the severe weather system.
“As governor, I’ve seen a lot,” he said, recounting previous floods. “This is by far the worst.”
“Hundreds will lose their homes.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order prohibiting price gouging in the aftermath of the devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky.
Under the state declaration, Gov. Beshear is empowered to implement certain provisions to protect consumers and prevent the sale of goods or services, such as gasoline, at a price grossly more than its sale point before the state of emergency was declared. The executive order remains in place for the duration of the state of emergency.
Drone footage captured by Ben Childers showed the extent of the flooding in Jackson and Breathitt County, Kentucky.
Watch Jackson, Kentucky Flooding Drone Video:
The disaster status by President Biden frees federal funding to support recovery — which was still ongoing on Friday.
“We thank President Biden and the federal government for being responsive in the commonwealth’s time of need. We asked for this last night; it came this morning – one of the fastest disaster declarations we’ve seen, and we are grateful for it,” Gov. Beshear said. “To all the families that know you’ve already sustained a loss, we’re going to grieve with you, we’re going to support you and we’re going to be here for you, not just today, but tomorrow and in the weeks and years to come.”
Donations have been requested for the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. The funds will be used to provide long-term relief to individuals directly impacted by this historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Donations will help with food, shelter, and other necessities of life and supplement emergency funds that come into the area.
This week’s flash flooding was the second weather-related crisis for Kentucky in the past year. In December, at least 70 people died from tornadoes that struck parts of the South and Midwest.
“If you’re able to hear us in Eastern Kentucky, we love you, and we’re going to make it. We’ve been through so much these last few years. We’re going to stand next to you, now and in the years to come. We’ll get through this together,” Gov. Beshear said.