At least 28 people are confirmed dead, including four children, in Kentucky and Governor Andy Beshear has warned of more rain in areas already besieged by flooding. The National Weather Service has projected rain totals of 1 to 3 inches over the next 24 to 48 hours, with as much as 4 or 5 inches in localized areas. Excessive heat forecast on Tuesday will bring little respite to the residents already struggling from power outages and lack of drinking water.
“This is one of the most devastating deadly floods that we have seen in our history,” Gov. Beshear said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Senate candidate Charles Booker said it was not a coincidence that the hardest hit areas in Kentucky are some of the poorest in the country. “That is structural,” he said in a Tweet.
Extreme precipitation events driven by climate change have increased significantly over the past 100 years. The U.S. National Climate Assessment finds heavy rainfall is now about 20% to 40% more likely in and around eastern Kentucky than it was around 1900. (Flooding: WSAZ, Axios, AP, Reuters, New York Times $, NPR, Washington Post $; Beshear: New York Times $, AP, The Hill, Washington Post $; Biden: The Hill, Washington Post $, Analysis: AP, Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Flooding, Extreme precipitation increase)