Local scouting leader Amy Garbrick was elected as the first female president of the governing board for the Boy Scouts of America Mountaineer Area Council, based in north central West Virginia.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
As rain dissipates in central Appalachia, search and rescue crews are working around the clock to locate missing people. Communities in eastern Kentucky are being aided by neighboring state governments.
According to state and federal officials, at least 16 people have died amid historic floods in eastern Kentucky, with many more still missing. The North Fork of the Kentucky River crested 6 feet above previous records.
“We don’t have a reliable number of people unaccounted for,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news conference Friday morning. “It’s for a couple of reasons. Number one, communication is still very difficult. We’re trying to amplify cell service. We hope we’re going to get a big step made today in doing that, but it’s going to be really challenging in this area.”
President Joe Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with recovery in Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Wolfe counties.
“What we’ll be working on next is an application and a request on the individual assistance side,” Beshear said.
Search and rescue crews are still unable to reach some of the flooded areas. Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, Adj. Gen. of the West Virginia National Guard, said that he’s coordinating with the Kentucky and Tennessee National Guards to provide helicopter rescues to these locations.
“There are just locations they can’t get to, and with aviation and our hoist capabilities, we can get in and lower the hoist, get folks on that, and get them up out of that area,” Crane said.
Officials are encouraging people to wait for the water to recede, and to avoid flooded areas and hazards such as downed power lines and mudslides.
“You need to be extra cautious when you’re traveling,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said. “Make sure that you’re listening to your local officials in what they asked you to do, because we want to make sure that we keep you safe. We want to be able to use our resources to help those that are in need.”
Flooding can undercut roads and wash away bridges. According to Crane, some highways have even lost part of their support structures from flood damage.
While storms and rain showers are dissipating, some waterways in Kentucky haven’t yet reached their crest. With saturated soil and localized downpours, flash floods continue to be a hazard throughout central Appalachia.
A flood watch issued by the National Weather Service will remain in effect till 10 p.m. Friday.