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KY NG Air Crew Responds To Record Floods

August 9, 2022

July 29, 2022 - Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen search from a helicopter to render flood relief efforts in response to a declared state of emergency in eastern Kentucky in late-July 2022. Their mission consists of supporting Soldier movement, joint support transport, delivery of emergency supplies, and surveying flooded areas looking for Kentucky survivors. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army National Guard photos by Sgt. Jesse Elbouab.)
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July 29, 2022 - Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen search from a helicopter to render flood relief efforts in response to a declared state of emergency in eastern Kentucky in late-July 2022. Their mission consists of supporting Soldier movement, joint support transport, delivery of emergency supplies, and surveying flooded areas looking for Kentucky survivors.

The scenes from their helicopter provide just a glimpse of the Kentucky flood disaster caused by ongoing heavy rain from severe storms over several days ... causing America's deadliest non-tropical flash flood in 45 years.

At least 37 were killed in eastern Kentucky after 6 to 9 inches of rain fell in just 12 hour period on July 28th ... triggered record flooding on the North Fork Kentucky River in Jackson and Whitesburg, and damaging flooding in several other towns. Some homes were swept away by the raging floodwaters, and many more in valleys were flooded.

In the five days that followed...

  • Over 1,300 people were rescued, but crews were still pushing to reach those still cut off by mudslides and washed-out roads or bridges.

  • One Kentucky town witnessed record flooding from this deluge in records dating to at least the Roaring Twenties.

  • The North Fork Kentucky River at Whitesburg, Kentucky, not only topped its all-time record from January 1957, but crushed it by over 6 feet. This was about 11 feet above flood stage, and about 9 feet above the level at which homes along the river begin to flood in this town in Letcher County near the border with southwestern Virginia. The river rose about 18 feet in 10 hour period starting around midnight. Normally, the river is only 1 to 2 feet deep, illustrating the danger of flash flooding on smaller rivers, creeks and streams.

Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army National Guard photos by Sgt. Jesse Elbouab.

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