The southern US state’s governor said Saturday as rescuers continued their search for survivors. Torrential rain earlier this week caused unprecedented flash flooding in eastern Kentucky, a mountainous region already hard hit by grinding poverty as the coal industry that was the heart of its economy declines.
“We’ve got some tough news to share out of Eastern Kentucky today, where we are still in the search and rescue phase. Our death toll has risen to 25 lost, and that number is likely to increase,” tweeted Governor Andy Beshear.
“To everyone in Eastern Kentucky, we are going to be there for you today and in the weeks, months and years ahead. We will get through this together,” he added.
Beshear previously said hundreds of people had been rescued by boat since the flooding began Wednesday,
But “there are still so many people unaccounted for, and in this area, it’s going to be a hard task to get a firm number,” he told CNN on Saturday.
Some areas in eastern Kentucky had reported receiving more than eight inches (20 centimeters) of rain in a 24-hour period.