Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Sunday afternoon that 28 people have now died and dozens more are still unaccounted for following several 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 rainfall 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 — making it hard to get to people, making it hard to supply people with water,” Beshear said at a press conference in Knott County, where 15 people have died, including four children.
At least 359 people have sought shelter from the flooding at 15 sites and two state parks.
More than 12,000 people were still without power on Sunday evening, according to poweroutage.us.
“We are still focused on meeting the immediate needs of providing food, water and shelter for thousands of our fellow Kentuckians who have been displaced by this catastrophic flood,” Beshear said in a statement on Sunday. “At the same time, we have started on the long road to eventual recovery.”
FEMA said on Sunday morning that at least 37 people are still unaccounted for, 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 homeowners whose homes are damage can apply for individual assistance with FEMA.
It’s the second natural disaster to hit Kentucky in the past seven months after several tornadoes ripped through the state in December, killing 80 people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.