Death toll rises in Kentucky floods


Death toll rises in Kentucky floods

Kentucky homeowners swam to safety, and others were rescued by boat as record flash floods killed at least 16 people in Kentucky and inundated entire Appalachian Mountain towns, prompting a frantic search for survivors Friday through some of America's poorest communities.

Authorities have warned that the death toll will likely rise sharply as search efforts continue. The rain fell early Friday morning, but some streams were not expected to peak until Saturday, and more storms are expected to sweep the area early next week.

It's the latest catastrophic flood to hit parts of the US this summer, including St. Louis earlier this week and again on Friday. 

The waters flowed down the hillsides and into the valleys and hollows as they swelled the streams and streams that flowed through the small towns. The torrent swept through homes, businesses, and wrecked vehicles. The mudslides left some people stranded on the steep slopes.

Rescue teams used helicopters and boats to search for the missing. But some areas remain inaccessible, and Kentucky Governor Andy Bashir said the death toll "will go up a lot." He said it could take weeks to account for all the victims.

Patricia Colombo, 63, of Hazzard, Kentucky, was stranded after her car got stuck in floodwaters on a state highway. Colombo started to panic when the water started flowing. Her phone was dead, but she saw a helicopter flying overhead and waved her down. The helicopter's crew notified a team on the ground that they safely pulled it out of its vehicle.

Colombo stayed the night at her fiancé's home in Jackson and took turns sleeping, checking the water frequently with light bulbs to see if it was rising. Colombo lost her car but said that others who were struggling before the floods worsened.

"A lot of these people can't recover here. " They have half underwater homes; they have lost everything," she said.

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