"The death toll continues to rise... and many families there have lost absolutely everything," he said, adding that he expected the number to more than double, and "it's going to include some children."
Meanwhile, local television WHAS11 reported on people trapped on rooftops and in trees. To respond to that situation, Beshear ordered the mobilization of Kentucky National Guard troops and the use of trucks and helicopters.
Flooding also hit parts of West Virginia and Virginia. Poweroutage reported over 33,000 customers remained without electricity Friday in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, with the bulk of the outages in Kentucky.
Beshear has declared a state of emergency. Kentucky has also opened three state parks for those who lost their homes to take shelter. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties.
Videographer Chris Knight (@PhotogOnFire) and I are on our way to the community or Buckhorn to cover the aftermath of catastrophic flooding in southeast Kentucky. I’ll have live updates this evening on @WLWTpic.twitter.com/5MsHP6nG2C
Beshear has declared a state of emergency. Kentucky has also opened three state parks for those who lost their homes to take shelter. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for six counties. U.S. President Joe Biden has approved a "disaster declaration," announcing federal funding is available to assist in recovery efforts.
"It is a catastrophic event. There are flash floods and mudslides almost everywhere," said Jerry Stacy, director of Emergency Management in Perry County, eastern Kentucky.
The National Weather Service warned heavy rains and flooding could continue throughout the weekend in parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.