Kentucky flood death toll rises to 25 governors

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least 25 people, including four children, have been killed in flooding caused by torrential rains in eastern Kentucky, with more fatalities expected, state governor Andy Beshear said Saturday.

“This is still an emergency,” Beshear told reporters. “We are in search and rescue mode. Again, that number will continue to rise.”

Heavy rain measuring 13 to 25 cm (5 to 10 inches) ravaged the region from Wednesday to Thursday, sweeping through houses, washing away roads and pushing rivers over their banks. While the region’s steep slopes and narrow valleys make it vulnerable to flooding, experts are also blaming climate change.

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The floods were the second major national disaster to hit Kentucky in seven months, following a swarm of tornadoes that killed nearly 80 in the western part of the state in December.

President Joe Biden on Friday declared a major disaster in Kentucky, allowing federal funding to be allocated to the state.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; editing by Alistair Bell)

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