The heavy rainfall and flooding that has ravaged Kentucky the past few days has taken 26 lives, the state’s Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday, and the number is going to rise in the coming weeks as the state recovers from the damage.
“This is one of the most devastating, deadly floods that we have seen in our history,” the Democrat told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “With the level of water, we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter-mile-plus from where they were lost.”
The storms in the state are part of a series of extreme weather conditions that have hit the nation this summer; St. Louis also experienced dangerous flooding last week. Pockets of the U.S. are still navigating record heat.
Beshear said efforts are underway to continue searching for missing persons as a result of the natural disaster.
“It’s going to take some time to get a firm grasp on that,” he said. “We still can’t get into some areas to check on people. We’re doubling our National Guard. We’re going to work to go door to door, work to find, again, as many people as we can. We’re even going to work through the rain. But the weather is complicating it.”
As far as what comes next, Beshear said the state will focus on rebuilding its infrastructure to be better equipped for the extreme weather conditions.
“We’ve got to make sure that our roads, our bridges, our culverts, our floodwalls can withstand greater intensity,” he said, adding that the president’s American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill are both “a good start.”
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