Tennessee crews respond to assist Kentucky after deadly, historical flooding

President Joe Biden declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to more than a dozen Kentucky counties.
President Joe Biden declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to more than a dozen Kentucky counties.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 11:15 AM CDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - First responders and crews from Tennessee have responded to Kentucky after historical flooding killed over a dozen this week.

The hardest hit areas of eastern Kentucky received between 8 and 10 1/2 inches over a 48-hour period ending Thursday, said Brandon Bonds, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jackson.

Gov. Bill Lee authorized Tennessee guardsmen to provide essential air-rescue support in the state, alongside the Tennessee and Kentucky Emergency Management Agencies.

“Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, states can request relief and recovery support from other states during and after disasters,” a Tennessee Army National Guard official told WVLT News.

The Tennessee Army National Guard said that five Blackhawk helicopters responded to the Commonwealth state to support other state, county and local emergency responders to help assist people out of waters that swallowed towns, swamped homes and businesses, trashed vehicles and devastated communities.

Two helicopters, which included one with the aquatic rescue team, comprising of Nashville Fire Department rescue divers, and the other with a swift water rescue team, deployed to Jackson, Kentucky.

Three medical evacuation Blackhawk helicopters from Task Force MEDEVAC, from Louisville, Tennessee, also responded to assist with rescues. Every aircraft has an emergency hoist system, water rescue baskets, exposure suits and swift water-trained medics and aircrew to be utilized in emergency situations.

As of Friday morning, Kentucky’s governor said that 16 people have died in four eastern Kentucky counties due to the flooding, and the toll will rise as rescue teams search the disaster area.

“The tough news is 16 confirmed fatalities now, and folks, that’s going to get a lot higher,” Governor Andy Beshear said.

President Joe Biden declared a federal disaster to direct relief money to more than a dozen Kentucky counties, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency appointed an officer to coordinate the recovery.

The American Red Cross has also responded to assist Kentucky locals.

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