Extreme flooding in Kentucky has killed at least 16 people

Flooded homes and structures near Quicksand, Kentucky, on Thursday.Ryan C. Hermens/AP

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At least 16 people have been confirmed dead as a result of flooding in Kentucky, the New York Times reports. That number is “going to get a lot higher,” Gov. Andy Beshear warned about the death toll on Friday. Beshear said that it may be several weeks before the full scale of the damage is known.

Close to 300 people have been rescued so far. Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. Many survivors of the flood are expected to “lose just about everything,” the governor said.

The flooding began after parts of Kentucky received more than 9 inches of rain over the course of 12 hours on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The damage was concentrated in eastern Kentucky, where President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in 13 counties.

A record-breaking flood also hit St. Louis earlier this week, leaving one person dead. Both the Missouri and Kentucky floods resulted from what the Washington Post called “1-in-1,000 year rain events.” They are representative of the kind of extreme weather events that are becoming more common as a result of climate change.

The Times has highlighted a number of groups working to help flood victims that are accepting donations:

“The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, which was established by Mr. Beshear, is accepting tax-deductible donations online and by mail to help people who were affected by the floods.

The American Red Cross in Kentucky said it was working with local emergency management officials to assess needs in about nine counties. The organization is taking donations to help in the recovery.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is accepting donations of bottled water, toiletries and nonperishable food. The collection site is 105 Corporate Drive, Suite A, in Frankfort, the state capital. The department is accepting donations from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays through Aug. 5.

The Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation Flood Relief Fund is accepting monetary donations online to help provide victims with generators, transportation, food, water and access to health care and medicine. The organization is also accepting donations of cleaning supplies, nonperishable food and water at its office at 2260 Executive Drive in Lexington.

The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, a nonprofit community group in Hazard, Ky., said it was accepting donations through its Crisis Aid Fund.”

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