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Kentucky residents brace for more rain as flood death toll rises to 28

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday afternoon that 28 people have now died and dozens more are still missing after days of severe thunderstorms, flooding and mudslides.

The National Weather Service warned that a flood watch remains in effect for parts of Kentucky through Monday morning, with thunderstorms containing 1 to 2 inches of precipitation possible in the state.

Damage to bridges, roads and water systems complicated rescue efforts on Sunday, Beshear said.

“We have dozens of bridges that are out of order, making it difficult for people to get to them, to get water,” Beshear said at a news conference in Knott County, where 15 people died. , including four children.

At least 359 people sought refuge from the floods at 15 sites and two state parks.

More than 12,000 people were still without power Sunday evening, according to poweroutage.us.

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“We are still focused on meeting immediate needs by providing food, water and shelter to thousands of our fellow Kentuckians who have been displaced by this catastrophic flooding,” Beshear said in a statement Sunday. “At the same time, we have started the long road to an eventual recovery.”

FEMA said Sunday morning that at least 37 people are still missing, while Beshear told NBC that “we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks.”

President Biden declared a federal disaster on Friday to free up federal funds for recovery efforts. Renters and owners whose homes are damaged can request individual assistance from FEMA.

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It’s the second natural disaster to hit Kentucky in the past seven months after multiple tornadoes tore through the state in December, killing 80 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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