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Americares Deploys Emergency Team for Kentucky Flooding

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Kentucky Floods

Active Emergency (Photo by Daniel Leal / AFP)
July 28, 2022
A Perry County yellow school bus sits in flood waters and surrounded by flood debris

Devastating Floods

Heavy rainfall produced devastating flash flooding throughout southeastern Kentucky this past week, causing at least 37 deaths, hundreds more missing, significant displacement, and widespread property damage. Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency, and President Biden declared the flooding a “major disaster.” To date, more than 1,900 households remain without power and approximately 13,500 customers are still without water, according to Governor Beshear. All numbers are expected to fluctuate as the true toll of the storm emerges. Many roads are washed out, and rescuers have had difficulty reaching survivors.

Specific indications of immediate needs include reports that two hospitals and two long-term care centers were evacuated and sustained major damage. The community of Whitesburg, in one of the hardest hit areas, is not expecting to have drinking water for at least 3 months.

An Americares emergency response team deployed to southeastern Kentucky in the immediate aftermath of the storm and went door-to-door to health facilities in the hardest hit communities to assess the needs and offer assistance to meet the immediate needs of survivors, including displaced families. We are delivering critically needed medicines and relief supplies to support survivors, as well as emergency funding to help restore health services in affected communities. We are also providing hygiene products and PPE for displaced families, supplies for survivors with diabetes and tetanus vaccines to protect first people clearing up the damage.(Photo by Mike Demas). Watch the latest update from the team on the ground in Kentucky. Click on the arrow.

Updated 8/7/22

Americares Response

“Clinics have sustained major damage and hospitals have evacuated patients. We’re working around the clock to ensure both health care providers and patients get the help they desperately need.”

Mariel Fonteyn, Americares U.S. Director of Emergency Response

We are supporting primary health care clinics in the hardest hit areas including Hazard and Whitesburg. Americares is actively doing outreach to clinics located in Hindman, Jackson and Neon.

Americares has also awarded emergency funding to help damaged health facilities repair facilities and replace equipment.

The flood damage at Mountain Comprehensive Care’s offices in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Photo by Mike Demas/Americares.
Debris waits to be loaded out into the street at the administrative offices of Mountain Comprehensive Care in Whitesburg, Kentucky on Sunday, July 31, 2022 (Photo/Mike Demas).

To date, Americares has sent more than 5 tons of medicines and relief supplies, including hygiene kits, masks and tetanus vaccines, to two partner organizations in southeastern Kentucky supporting survivors.

Two members of Americares Emergency Team walking by sign for Kentucky Emergency Operations Center.
Americares Emergency Team members arriving at Kentucky Emergency Operations Center as they coordinate planning and assess needs following the historic floods,

Lives Swept Away

A local resident shares that four of his relatives died the night of the flooding, the waters carrying one of his loved ones five miles away from Fisty to Jackson, KY. It will be many days before the fate of more of the missing will be determined.

A child's elmo doll sits in rubble beside concrete block wall - all the remains of a house swept away by flood waters.
Debris lays strewn in what used to be a series of houses by the river. August 1, 2022 (Photo/Mike Demas).

Our History

Americares responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $20 billion in aid to 164 countries.