Rainstorms hammer Kentucky overnight, with flash flood warnings in effect throughout state

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — Strong rain continued to fall early Tuesday in Kentucky, as officials and first responders worked to find perhaps hundreds of people who were reported missing amid floods that have killed at least 37.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday evening warned that a “series of complex storms” were moving overnight through counties already ravaged by flooding.

“The biggest concern is overnight flooding,” he said on Twitter. “Please, if you are in an area that has suffered flooding seek shelter on higher ground. Be weather-aware and stay safe.”

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center early on Tuesday warned of flash floods throughout Kentucky, along with areas in Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois and Indiana.

The Kentucky governor’s office said Beshear on Tuesday would visit three eastern counties hit by the flooding. He was expected to meet with local officials, volunteers and families.

At least 37 people were reported dead as of Monday, Beshear said. He had said earlier in the day that there were “hundreds of unaccounted for people, minimum,” but cautioned that the number wasn’t exact.

Almost 600 people had been rescued from flooded areas by Monday, with thousands more expected to lose their homes, the governor’s office said.

The National Weather Service issued a new flash flood warning for “most” of Kentucky at about 2:30 a.m. local time. South-central Illinois and far southern Indiana were also expected to get heavy rains that could result in flash flooding, the center said.

Some areas in Kentucky had seen from 4 to 8 inches of rain in six hours prior to 2 a.m., the center said.

“Instances of flash flooding are likely to continue and expand through dawn, possibly becoming significant to extreme locally near the IL/IN/KY border region,” the center said.

Beshear’s office said the governor will brief media at the Capitol at 8 a.m. local time, offering details on the state’s response.

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