Rescue teams searched Friday for people missing in record floods in Kentucky. Meanwhile across the globe, Pakistan has been inundated with floods triggered by monsoon rains.
Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, says 15 people have died. He expects the toll to grow as the rain keeps falling.
Flooding also damaged parts of western Virginia and southern West Virginia. Poverty is a problem across the region. “There are hundreds of families that have lost everything,” Beshear says. “And many of these families didn’t have much to begin with.”
Floodwaters receded in some places after peaking Thursday. But the National Weather Service said flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall remained possible through Friday evening. Thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain there over the past few days. As much as six inches of rain had fallen in some spots by Thursday.
Powerful floodwaters swallowed towns in Appalachian valleys and hollows. Homes and businesses were swamped. Mudslides on steep slopes left many people marooned and without power, making rescues more difficult.
Emergency crews made close to 50 air rescues and hundreds of water rescues on Thursday. More people still needed help on Friday. Determining the number of missing is tough with cell service and electricity out across the disaster area.
“I do believe it will end up being one of the most significant, deadly floods that we have had in Kentucky in at least a very long time,” Beshear says.
In Pakistan, rescuers used boats and helicopters Wednesday to evacuate hundreds. Floods in the southwest have killed 104 people.
Since June 14, the downpours have damaged bridges, roads, and about 4,000 homes in Baluchistan province, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. It says 337 people have died in rain-related incidents across impoverished Pakistan. Monsoon season runs from July through September in Pakistan.
A rescue official says hundreds of people were stranded just in Lasbella, a district in Baluchistan province. The Baluchistan government is providing food, tents, and other essential items to flood-affected people.
The military has set up medical camps in deluged areas. The World Health Organization has launched an anti-cholera vaccination campaign to prevent the spread of the water-borne disease. Flooding can contribute to cholera outbreaks by making it harder for people to get clean water.
Cholera has caused 28 deaths and sickened thousands of people in Baluchistan in recent months. The disease is common in Pakistan, where many people don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Pray for people who are suffering because of flooding. Ask that God would comfort them and provide for their needs.
(Lost Creek overflows and floods houses in Kentucky on July 28, 2022. Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)