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Gov. Andy Beshear says death toll from eastern Kentucky flooding rises to 40

Beshear announced on social media the person had died during cleanup efforts in the region.

Joseph Garcia, Associated Press, Sarah Magin

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Published: 12:15 PM EDT July 28, 2022
Updated: 4:45 PM EDT September 13, 2022

Weeks after deadly flooding in eastern Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear says crews are out of the emergency response phase of the disaster.

In total, 40 people have been confirmed dead. Beshear announced on Twitter the person died during cleanup efforts. 

One of the latest deaths was of an 18-year-old teen who fell ill and died while helping with flood recovery efforts. 

The majority of those who died were from Knott County, where four children died.

Beshear said on Aug. 18 that Kentucky State Police are still looking for two women in Breathitt County who have been missing since the flooding began on July 28. 

They have been identified as 60-year-old Vanessa Baker and 29-year-old Nancy Cundiff. Both women were last seen in Lost Creek.

"Continue to pray for the families that have suffered an unfathomable loss, some have lost almost everyone in their household," the governor previously said.

Beshear says as of Aug. 18, 455 people are being house in temporary shelters. Another 319 displaced Kentuckians are in state parks.

More than 1,400 people have been rescued by boat and helicopter, and fourteen counties and three cities have declared emergencies. 

All wireless providers have been restored in the region. There are only 74 power outages, while roughly 2,600 households and businesses without water, there are more than 22,000 under a boil water advisory. 

"When you look at the level of damage they are being restored, they are being restored at a pace that is nothing short than remarkable," he said.

Following the disaster, Beshear quickly launched the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to help flood survivors as they work to rebuild. 

As of Aug. 18, over $6.7 million has been raised to help survivors.

Donations help with food, shelter and other necessities of life and go towards any emergency funds that come into the area.

The governor said the first expenditure will be for providing money to the families who have lost loved ones so they can have funerals.

"The least we ought to be able to do is grieve together," he said. "It's the least we can do, is to be there with these folks in this incredibly difficult time."

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