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At least 35 dead in devastating Kentucky flooding

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — The death toll from the devastating flooding that hit eastern Kentucky continues to rise as more rain hits the region, according to officials.

A total of 35 people, including children, have been confirmed dead, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday afternoon.

Beshear said Monday morning that “there are hundreds of unaccounted for people, minimum.”

More rain was falling Monday as search and rescue teams continued to look for those who are unaccounted for. The additional precipitation could cause water levels to rise again in the same area that experienced the catastrophic flooding that began with heavy rains on Wednesday.

Beshear described “widespread damage” that displaced thousands of people, including power outages for thousands of people as well as washed-out roads, destroyed homes and flooded schools.

More than 600 people have been rescued by aircraft and boat since the flooding began, Beshear said.

The destruction in Kentucky is the latest extreme flooding event to take place in the U.S. in less than a week.

Heavy downpours caused flash flooding in Las Vegas on Friday, with rising waters seen on roadways and parking garages in busy parts of Sin City.

The megadrought has caused the soil in the region to become so dry that it could not absorb the heavy rains, which helped to contribute to the flooding.

Earlier in the week, a flash flooding emergency occurred near St. Louis, which had a record-breaking 8.56 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. One person was found dead in a car on Tuesday after the water began to recede, officials said.

Kentucky is working to establish shelters, Beshear said, asking those who want to help to donate cleaning supplies or water. Last week, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration.

“Let us wrap our arms around eastern Kentucky and pray for those impacted,” Beshear said.

ABC News’ Matt Foster, Kenton Gewecke and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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