United States: At least 15 people killed in flash floods caused by heavy rains in Kentucky

At least 15 people have died due to historic flash flooding caused by torrential rains in eastern Kentucky, the US state’s governor has said.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that he expects the death toll to continue to rise.

President Biden declared the floods “a major disaster” on Friday and ordered federal aid to help with local recovery efforts.

More than 23,000 people are also without power in the state.

“We know some of the loss will include children, we may have even lost entire families,” Mr Beshear said.

The flash flooding came after heavy rains earlier this week. Hundreds of homes in Kentucky have been wiped out because of the floods, the governor said.

In an interview he said this is “by far the worst flooding disaster” he has seen in his lifetime.

“Hundreds of Kentucky families are going to lose everything,” he said.

Around 50 air rescue operations were conducted on Thursday, along with more than 100 boat rescues. Search and rescue efforts in the state are ongoing.

“It’s going to be a tough couple of days, it’s going to be a long rebuild,” Mr Beshear said.

The historic flooding comes as the state recovers from the deadliest tornados in its history, which killed more than 70 in December 2021.