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The toll seems to be climbing as the number of deaths from massive flooding in Kentucky have risen to 26 on Sunday and several dozen people have also remained missing amid the threat of more heavy rains to come.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear had also announced that the death toll had risen by one since Saturday from last week’s storms. Beshear had also said the number would likely rise significantly and it could take weeks to find all the victims. As many as 37 people were unaccounted for, according to a daily briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On top of that, it has also been reported that some more flash flooding was possible in portions of Appalachia on Sunday and Monday as the latest storms roll through, the National Weather Service said. Rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour were possible in some of the same areas that were inundated last week.
A dozen shelters were open for flood victims in Kentucky with 388 occupants on Sunday, according to FEMA.
At a news conference in Knott County, Beshear praised the fast arrival of FEMA trailers but noted numerous challenges in the recovery, including the threat of more rain and flooding and damage to critical infrastructure.
“We have dozens of bridges that are out — making it hard to get to people, making it hard to supply people with water,” he said. “We have entire water systems down that we are working hard to get up.”
Beshear said it will remain difficult, even a week from now, to “have a solid number on those accounted for. It’s communications issues — it’s also not necessarily, in some of these areas, having a firm number of how many people were living there in the first place.”