Death toll hits 39 as water, electric restored

The death toll from the flooding in Eastern Kentucky climbed to 39 on Thursday, with Gov. Andy Beshear saying the area was working toward the recovery phase of the crisis after torrential rains destroyed hundreds of homes and wiped out entire communities last month. 

The governor did not identify the victim, though two women in Breathitt County were still missing, according to county coroner Hargis Epperson.

The death toll includes Aaron “Mick” Crawford, a Knott County teen who fell ill and died days after assisting with recovery efforts. The floods were a result of storms that moved through the region in late July.

Storms persisted in the area, threatening even more rain and preventing water from immediately receding in areas. But with the wet weather behind the area, Beshear said Thursday that the immediate crisis had subsided – now, he said, the focus would move to recovery.

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