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Tennessee first responders head to eastern Kentucky to assist with water rescue efforts

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 14:04:14-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — First responders from Tennessee are heading to Perry County, Kentucky on Thursday to assist with ongoing water rescue efforts.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency after the eastern region of the state experienced severe flooding overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

"We are currently experiencing one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history," said Beshear. "What we are going to see coming out of this is massive property damage and we expect loss of life. Hundreds will lose their homes. And this will be yet another event that will take not months, but years, for our families to rebuild and recover from."

At least 15 people have died as of Friday morning.

Three groups from the Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (TN-HART) will assist crews in Kentucky with ongoing flooding recovery. TN-HART teams consist of personnel from the Nashville Fire Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Air National Guard.

Five Blackhawk helicopters from the Tennessee Army National Guard are also in Kentucky to assist state and local emergency responders.

Gov. Beshear said at least 20 to 30 people were airlifted to safety on Thursday, but he expects there are others in need who have not yet been reached.

A relief fund has been launched to help with recovery and cleanup efforts. You can find more information about the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund here.