Biden expedites aid to Kentucky flooding survivors as search and rescue continues in state

President Biden announced on Saturday that he is expediting support to the survivors of deadly flooding in Kentucky as search-and-rescue operations continue. 

Biden said in a tweet that he added individual assistance to his major disaster declaration for the state Friday, which made emergency federal funds available to help recovery efforts. 

Biden said in a comment to his original tweet that residents of five counties in Kentucky who have been affected by the flooding — Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher, and Perry — should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) confirmed at a press conference on Saturday that at least 25 people have died from the flooding so far. He said he is worried that officials will find bodies “for weeks to come.” 

He said at an earlier press conference that six of the dead had been confirmed children, but he said Saturday that officials believe that four were children and 21 were adults. 

Beshear said search-and-rescue operations are continuing, and days or weeks could go by before the state can start rebuilding. 

Eastern Kentucky is reeling after record amounts of rainfall, as much as 8 to 10 inches in some areas, fell on Thursday, causing a 1,000-year-flood. The magnitude of the flood only has a 1 in 1,000 chance of happening in any given year. 

The flooding comes less than a year after another natural disaster in December, when tornadoes ripped across the state and killed approximately 80 people.