Gov. Beshear warns of flash flood watch for eastern Kentucky Tuesday

Ksp Rescue Floods
On July 29, the KSP Aircraft Branch and Special Response Team partnered with other agencies to rescue those trapped by flooding. KSP will continue to assist with recovery efforts and locating missing persons. (Source: Kentucky State Police)

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear announced a flash flood watch will be in effect from noon Tuesday through 8 p.m. Wednesday across central and eastern Kentucky.

According to a release by the governor’s office, slow-moving showers and thunderstorms will produce heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding. A cold front will move toward eastern Kentucky through Wednesday, which will create a favorable environment for storms with torrential downpours and could move many times over the same locations. Isolated to scattered flash flooding is possible.

“The weather for the next couple of days is a real concern. We still have many of our search and rescue teams onsite in the eastern Kentucky area waiting to get through this weather event that began at noon today and could carry through 8 p.m. tomorrow night,” said Beshear. “To the people of eastern Kentucky, please be careful through the next couple of days.”

The governor also updated Kentuckians on President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden’s visit to eastern Kentucky yesterday and new Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. He also reported one new death related to flooding.

“Our challenges are how to move from emergency mode to stabilization mode,” said Beshear. “How do we get people in a safe spot where they can stretch out a little bit, whether that’s a room in one of our lodges in the state parks or a travel trailer? How do we address transportation needs that are out there? And how do we continue to push FEMA to say yes instead of no and help as many of these folks as possible?”

President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Breathitt County on Monday, joined a briefing on flooding at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, met with volunteers and toured a nearby neighborhood with major flood damage.

“This is going to be different. We are going to come back better than before. Not come back to what we were before, but better than we were before. I am confident with the governor’s leadership that we can do it. We have the wherewithal to do it with the bipartisan legislation we have passed,” said Biden. “We never give up, we never stop. We just go forward and that’s what we are going to do here.”

The governor said there are 37 confirmed fatalities in five counties: eight in Breathitt, two in Clay, 17 in Knott (13 adults and four children), three in Letcher and seven in Perry. The governor’s office stated the total number will rise to 38 after the death of a Knott County High School student, who died after assistance with clean-up efforts in the area.

Kentucky State Police reports there are still two missing people from Breathitt County. These include the following:

  • Vanessa Baker, 60, of the Lost Creek Community is described as white, five feet seven inches tall, weighing approximately 215 pounds and having dark-colored hair. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.
  • Nancy Cundiff, 29, of the Lost Creek Community is described as white, 5-feet-1-inch tall, weighing approximately 280 pounds and having dark-colored hair. Her last known location was at her residence in the area of Lower River Caney Road.

Anyone with information about either missing person is asked to contact Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.