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.