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Deadly floodwaters in Kentucky

Deadly floodwaters in Kentucky
Rescuers search floodwaters for victims and survivors in Eastern Kentucky. (Reuters)

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At least 37 people have now died in flash floods in eastern Kentucky, as the region braces for more rainfall.

At least six children – including four siblings, aged one to eight, who were reportedly swept from their parents’ grip – are among the dead.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the death toll would continue to rise as “hundreds” remained unaccounted for.

More than 12,000 households remained without power, and hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded.

The damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure will cost millions to repair, the governor said on Monday.

Beshear, who toured some of the hardest-hit neighbourhoods over the weekend, said he had seen “houses swept away” and “schools ruined”.

This is the worst flash flooding the region has seen in decades.

Beshear called the deluge “the deadliest and the most devastating of my lifetime”, adding: “If things weren’t hard enough on the people of this region, they’re getting rain right now.”

Displaced locals have taken refuge in state parks, churches and mobile homes brought in by the state. Around 300 people are in shelters, officials say.

Many people “only have the clothes on their backs”, Beshear said. “Everything is ruined.”

Overnight curfews have been declared in two devastated counties amid reports of “excessive looting”. (BBC)