UPDATE (8:05 a.m. on Friday, July 29): Kentucky governor says 15 people have died in flooding, including children, a toll he expects to rise.

We expect more details from the Governor soon.


UPDATE (5:58 p.m. on Thursday, July 28): Gov. Andy Beshear said on Twitter that the flooding death toll, “has heartbreakingly risen to 8 Kentuckians lost.”

In that Twitter thread, Beshear thanks first responders for being, “heroic,” and how they are doing, “important work.”

UPDATE (1:33 p.m. on Thursday, July 28): Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed in his Team Kentucky press conference on Thursday that Eastern Kentucky has experienced its first-known deaths caused by the major flooding in the region.

An 81-year-old woman from Perry County, another person from Perry County, and one person from Knott County have been confirmed dead.

Beshear says that he expects the death toll from this flooding to reach double digits.

Beshear went on to say that if anyone has a missing loved one, they should NOT call 911. They should call Kentucky State Police Post 13 directly at 606-435-6069.

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK)—Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has declared a State of Emergency and activated the Kentucky National Guard due to heavy flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

In a press conference on Thursday, Beshear said that the situation in Eastern Kentucky is “dynamic,” and he expects “massive” property damage as well as loss of life. He said that more than 23,000 households statewide are without power.

To the people of Eastern Kentucky, Gov. Beshear said, “You are important, and we want to help.”

The governor went on to list all of the state agencies that have been activated by the declaration. He said the National Guard is staging three helicopters for use in water rescue and that the Kentucky State Police are fully active and have an extra helicopter. The transportation cabinet is preparing for debris removal. He said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is out with boats to make water rescues, and the Department of Forestry is ready for cleanup efforts.

“This is an all hands on deck,” said Beshear.

Gov. Beshear also said that Kentucky has opened three of its state parks for residents displaced by floods: Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, and Pine Mountain State Resort Park.