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Gov. Andy Beshear says death toll from eastern Kentucky flooding rises to 43

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: 9:39 PM EDT October 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, 43 people have been confirmed dead. Beshear announced on Twitter the person died during cleanup efforts. 

The latest two deaths were caused by “health conditions directly arising from the flooding,” the governor said at his weekly news conference on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Beshear didn't provide additional details about the deaths, which he said were reported from Letcher and Breathitt counties.

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

One person remains missing since the floodwaters hit the region in late July, Beshear said. 

Meanwhile, Kentucky state parks are currently housing 276 people displaced from their homes by the flooding, the governor said. Since Oct. 8, 21 people have transitioned out of state parks to other housing. Another 532 people are currently being housed in 200 travel trailers, he said.

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

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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