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26 dead due to extensive flooding in Kentucky

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The death toll from widespread flooding in Kentucky rose to 26 on Sunday amid a new threat of more heavy rain.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that one more person has died from the storms since Saturday.

Beshear has said the number is likely to rise sharply and it could take weeks to find all the victims. As many as 37 people were reported missing, according to a daily report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

In addition, the National Weather Service reported that more flash flooding was possible in some areas of Appalachia on Sunday and Monday as the latest storms passed. Rain rates of 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 centimeters) per hour were possible in some of the same areas that were inundated last week.

A dozen shelters have been set up for Kentucky flood victims with 388 occupants as of Sunday, according to FEMA.

Beshear said state police were fielding calls from concerned people who are unable to locate loved ones due to intermittent phone service.

“We still can’t get into some areas to check on people,” Beshear said. “We are increasing the presence of our National Guard . We are going to work to go door to door, work to find, again, as many people as we can. We even go to work through the rain. But the weather is making it difficult.”

On a cloudy morning in downtown Hindman, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southeast of Louisville, a crew was cleaning debris from storefronts. Nearby, a vehicle was in Troublesome Creek, which had reverted to its debris-strewn channel.

President Joe Biden declared a federal state of disaster to funnel aid money to more than a dozen Kentucky counties.

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