KY National Guard rescues 404 by air, 19 by boat

The Kentucky National Guard says it isn't sure how long the mission in eastern Kentucky will be but expects the incoming rain to makes things worse before getting better

EASTERN KENTUCKY (WTVQ) – The Kentucky National Guard is helping the people of eastern Kentucky on all fronts – by land, water and sky. 404 air rescues, 19 people and two dogs by boat, the Kentucky National Guard has been busy since being called to help after the flooding 3 days ago.

“Once we were able to fly out there, see the flooding in a lot of the valleys, it definitely struck home just how much it rained and just honestly the impact of the flooding,” says Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard Singleton. “It’s one thing to hear about it, but it’s another thing to actually see it.”

While the Guard says the water levels are receding, it says many areas are still unreachable. The rescue missions calling in soldiers from surrounding states as well. The Kentucky National Guard says it’s inspiring to see people flocking to come help fellow Kentuckians in the mountains.

“For as terrible of a situation as it is, it shows that there are still good, plenty of good people around willing to help out other people,” says Singleton. “The fact that I know [Friday], there were agencies from western Kentucky that were impacted by the tornadoes, that immediately came out to help their eastern Kentucky friends.”

The Kentucky National Guard says seeing the destruction from above is tough, especially for those who are familiar with the area.

“It’s kind of hard seeing a lot of the areas that I know I’ve been backpacking around, knowing that a lot of other people enjoy, to see that it’s all underwater. Especially knowing that the people that live there, they now have to deal with a lot of that,” says Singleton.

The National Guard says it’s not sure how long it will be deployed in eastern Kentucky. It says with the second rain front moving in later this weekend, it expects things to get worse again before getting better.

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