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‘Catastrophic’ flash flooding leaves 15 dead in Kentucky

(KENTUCKY) – (UPDATE) – The National Guard was deployed in Kentucky following catastrophic flash flooding, with search and rescue operations currently underway.

15 people died after the flooding decimated entire communities, according to Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, who declared a state of emergency Thursday.

“We still have missing people,” said Jerry Stacy, the emergency management director of Kentucky’s Perry County. “We’ve still got a lot of searching to do.”

Kentucky experienced ‘one of the worst flash flood events ever’ this past week, as storm-cells dumped at least 10 inches of rain, leaving more than 20,000 people stranded and without power, according to WYMT.

“I don’t have the words to describe the amount of devastation daylight will uncover across eastern Kentucky,” said Christ Bailey, WKYT’s chief meteorologist. “This is likely to go down as one of the worst flash flood events to ever hit the state.”

Flooded roadways will prevent crews from restoring damage for a while, Appalachian Wireless told the local station.

Severe weather warnings are currently issued throughout the state. The courthouse in Breathitt County will function as a shelter for those unable to return home due to flash flooding.

According to the county’s emergency department, roadways across the county are becoming ‘impassable.”

Excessive Nationwide Heat warnings were issued this past weekend, causing the pacific Northwest to experience record-breaking flooding.

Staff Writer, Julianna Caban, contributed to this story.