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Kentucky Floods

Active Recovery (Photo by Daniel Leal / AFP)
July 28, 2022

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 story from a clinic partner and survivors in Kentucky. Click on the arrow.

Updated 8/17/22

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. 

An emergency team member walks through a clinic in Neon, Kentucky which was damaged by the floods in southeastern Kentucky. August 7, 2022 (Photo/Mike Demas)

To date, Americares has sent more than 7.6 tons of medicines and relief supplies, including hygiene kits, masks, tetanus vaccines, wound care and other medical supplies to two partner organizations in southeastern Kentucky supporting survivors. Americares has also facilitated the delivery of 5 truckloads of water. We also have approved emergency funding totaling $50,000 to 4 organizations in the affected area. The funding will help restock supplies lost or damaged in the flooding, rent vans to support staff who lost vehicles, provide safe spaces for children and community members who lost their homes, and purchase needed medical supplies.

Emergency team conducting a needs assessment with a staff member at Hindman Settlements School. The school also serves as a local archive for the Appalachia area. Efforts are underway to preserve as many historical documents as possible while the building serves as a distribution center for the local community, while the staff muck-and-gut the bottom floor, which was damaged by the flooding. August 7, 2022 (Photo/Mike Demas).

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. The fate of more of the missing has not been fully 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.