LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency for several southeastern Kentucky counties after severe flooding hit the area overnight Wednesday into Thursday.
"We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky's history," said Beshear.
The governor says that water has not receded, or even crested, at this point, in many areas.
"This is going to be yet another event that it's going to take not months but, likely, years for many families to rebuild and recover from," said Beshear.
Beshear said there are a lot of people stranded on roofs waiting to be rescued. The power is out in many areas, but truckloads of fresh water are reportedly on the way.
The Kentucky National Guard is responding with helicopters and trucks that can move through the water.
In Perry County, one person is confirmed dead, according to Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle. He says there could be more deaths as crews are out responding to flooded neighborhoods and mobile home communities.
"We expect to lose lives," Beshear said.
Engle says he's been sheriff for four years and in law enforcement for 25 years. He calls the flooding "historically unlike anything he has ever seen." He says most of the responding agencies are volunteer fire departments. They're hoping the water will recede so they can rescue people that are still trapped.
In Pike County, rescue efforts are still underway as they wait for the water to clear off roadways. With flooding spread throughout the southern part of the county, crews are unsure how many residents still need assistance out of their homes and how many have already been rescued. The county is experiencing both water and power loss.
Clay County's treasurer says that the damage is pretty much countywide right now, including flooding, downed trees, and power outages.
The Lexington Fire Department says they've received a request to send swift water crews to Lost Creek, Kentucky to assist with the flooding in that region. They are sending a team of nine members along with two boats.
Their mission is to rescue up to three people that are trapped in the Riverside Christian school.
This story was originally reported by Jordan Mickle on lex18.com.