Kentucky death toll hits 35, with more storms in sight

Four young siblings among those killed in floods

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Devastating floods caused by torrential rains have killed at least 35 people in the US state of Kentucky, including four young siblings, and more severe weather has been forecasted for the state, Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday.

Authorities are continuing to work to rescue residents and provide food and shelter for the thousands who have been displaced.

“It is really tough,” Mr Beshear said of the weather forecast in a video posted to social media. “Isolated flash flooding and damaging wind are both possible.”

The governor said he expects the death toll to rise further and that authorities will probably be “finding bodies for weeks” as they reach more remote areas of the affected region.

The National Weather Service forecasted several rounds of continuing showers and storms through Tuesday. The additional rainfall could also hamper rescue and recovery efforts.

Among the dead were four siblings identified to CNN as Chance, aged 2, Nevaeh, aged 4, Riley Jr, aged 6, and Madison, aged 8.

Their parents, Amber Smith and Riley Noble, were eventually rescued after they were found clinging to a nearby tree, US media reported. The bodies of all four children have been recovered.

Brittany Trejo, the children's cousin, created a fundraising campaign that has raised $69,000 as of Monday afternoon to help with funeral and other costs.

The floods were the second extreme weather event to strike Kentucky in seven months. Eighty people were killed in the western part of the state in December in a series of tornadoes.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the area last week, allowing relief funding to be directed to the state.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: August 02, 2022, 11:10 AM