The death toll from flooding in Eastern Ky. has risen to 37 as of Tues., Aug. 2, with more rain forecast for the region.
Flooding in Eastern Ky. has been a problem for more than a century, but heavy rainfall in a short period of time has caused epic flooding in the counties of Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, Knott, Letcher, Perry, Breathitt, Leslie, Owsley, Clay and Wolfe.
Governor Andy Beshear has deployed Ky. National Guard to assist local search and rescue teams. Command posts for flood relief have been established at state parks such as Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg.
Beshear, who fears that more bodies will be found as the water recedes, has also warned that more rain may be on its way and that the possibility of more flooding exists. He has also ordered flags to be flown at half staff.
Pikeville, prone to flooding by the Big Sandy River for many years, literally moved a mountain to divert the river’s flow away from the city, and the Town of Martin in Floyd County moved practically the entire downtown to higher ground via the assistance of the federal government.
Rowboats in the 1950s were used in Martin to navigate Main Street during floods that rose to the top of the parking meters.
With the increase of strip mining over the years, flooding grew worse in Eastern Ky., and the current flooding where the terrain consists mainly of hills with narrow valleys has been the most devastating and deadly flooding in the region’s history.
Beshear has established a fund to provide flood relief for the victims, and by donating to Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, donors will receive receipts for their donations that are tax-deductible.
Donors may mail checks made payable to Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund and mail them to Public Protection Cabinet, 500 Mero St., 218 NC, Frankfort, KY 40601. Beshear emphasized that 100 percent of each donation will be utilized to help the flood victims.