Kentucky Death Toll From July Floods Rises to 43, One Person Still Missing

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by LEANDRO LOZADA/AFP via Getty Images)

As southeastern Kentucky continues to clean up the devastation from July’s floods, it’s been reported that the death toll from the natural disaster is now up to 43.

CNN reports that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday (October 13th) that the floods’ death toll is now more than 40 people. Two additional people died from health complications that were related to the incident. “Let us pray for those families and all of eastern Kentucky,” Beshear stated. “As we continue to try to stabilize the region and ultimately turn towards rebuilding.” 

The media outlet further reports that parts of Kentucky were nearly leveled in late July when historical floods washed away homes and other structures as well as submerged vehicles. Thousands of residents were notably displaced in the aftermath of the devastation. Efforts from the federal government are still continuing. 

Unfortunately, officials say that the final death count is going to be challenging. This is due to the extent of the devastation the floods caused in the eastern Kentucky region. Beshear spoke to CNN after the flooding occurred. “This is a type of flood that even an area that sees flooding has never seen in our lifetime.” 

It was further revealed that lives were lost across six counties due to the storms. 10 in Breathitt County; two in Clay County; 19 in Knott County; four in Letcher County; seven in Perry County; and one in Pike County.

One Person Still Remains Missing Following Kentucky Floods 

Meanwhile, Kentucky Governor Beshear revealed that one person from Breathitt County remains missing a few months after the historical floods. 

Tracy Neice, the mayor of Hindman, Kentucky, shared with CNN how the floods impacted her area. She said that her town’s main street looked like a stretch of river where one might go whitewater rafting. “I’ve lived here in this town for 56 years, and I have never seen water of this nature. It was just devastating to all of our businesses, all of our offices.”

CNN further reports that experts and government officials have said that human-induced climate change is the main cause of extreme weather events, much like the Kentucky floods. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that most Americans don’t actually care about the climate crisis. “The American people are clear about their priorities. Environmental regulation is a 3% issue. Americans want solutions for inflation, crime, and the border.”

Kentucky Governor Beshear also said that he wishes he could figure out why the state keeps getting hit with floods. “I wish I could tell you why areas where people may not have much continue to get hit and lose everything. I can’t give you the why, but I know what we do in response to it. And the answer is everything we can. These are our people. Let’s make sure we help them out.”