At least sixteen people are dead after catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky washed away homes and submerged entire towns. As residents brace for more rainfall, Gov. Andy Beshear warns the torrential downpours may claim more lives. 

Dozens were rescued by boat and helicopter, and tens of thousands are without power. Floodwaters tore through the area so violently and quickly that residents — still recovering from the last flood — barely had time to get out. 

“I lost everything twice,” flood victim Dennis Gross told The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel in Garrett, Kentucky. “That makes twice that I’ve lost everything. And I ain’t the only one.”

Mike and Deborah Reffert have lived in Garrett since 1966, but have never seen floodwaters like the ones that rose this week.

“I’ve never seen it this high,” Deborah told Seidel. “It’s just sad to imagine the devastation and just the loss.”

Emergency crews spent Thursday morning trying to rescue some of the stranded by boat. In Perry County, hit especially hard by the flooding, a creek next to an elementary school jumped its banks before sending a wall of water rushing into the building.

“The water was coming over that bridge,” Rebecca Ramey, a Perry County resident, told Seidel. “You can see the debris.”

With more rainfall expected this weekend, Beshear warned residents of potential destruction.

“This is an ongoing disaster that continues to put people in danger,” he said. “Our death toll is growing. And a lot of families out there have lost absolutely everything.”