Thousands remain without water as East Ky. recovery efforts continue – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

Residents of eastern Kentucky are bracing for another round of storms beginning Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. Parts of eastern and central Kentucky are under flood watch until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Additionally, Gov. Andy Beshear said he expects the death toll from recent flooding to rise to 38, pending confirmation of another death in Knott County. Kentucky State Police are continuing efforts to identify missing persons.

As rescue efforts continue, crews work to restore and repair utilities and important infrastructure.

The governor reported 372 power outages, which he said is down from 25,000 at his peak. He said some of the outages came from crews having to interrupt service to carry out repairs.

“We are now at 6,620 service connections without water, 30,857 service connections under a boil water advisory,” Beshear said.

Eight water supply systems are still in limited operation and five sanitation systems are not operational.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are working to restore 11 heavily damaged or destroyed bridges in Perry, Knott, Pike and Letcher counties.

“They are mostly at sites where the loss of the bridge left people without motor vehicle access to their homes,” Beshear said.

The state is using existing and emergency contracts to proceed with construction as quickly as possible, according to Beshear.

“The first step will be to construct temporary walkways with large drain pipes and hard pavement while survey and design teams begin work on the steel and concrete structures,” Beshear said.

He expects restoring bridges and private housing will be one of the toughest challenges for the state.

There are currently 315 people in temporary accommodations in the affected areas, and some state park facilities are still available for people seeking shelter.

Beshear said cell service in affected areas has been almost fully restored.

“What we’ve learned now in two major disasters is that this is one of the first things you have to stand up for,” Beshear said. “Once you’ve done that, you have a better idea of ​​how many people you’re missing and how many you’ve lost.”

One of the main obstacles to recovery efforts has been debris. Beshear said debris assessments would continue through Wednesday.

“A process is underway to identify and remove the vehicles from the right-of-way,” he said.

The governor said once the private contractors are on the ground, people will “very quickly notice a huge difference” in clearing debris.

Beshear’s state of emergency declaration and associated flood-related decrees can last for 30 days, after which it will need to be extended.

Approval by the General Assembly is one way in which this extension can occur.

Beshear said he expects a special session to be held next month to deal with the flooding.

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