By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) -The death toll from flooding in eastern Kentucky has risen to 15, Governor Andy Beshear said on Friday, after days of torrential rainfall inundated homes, washed out roads and caused rivers and streams to overflow their banks.
The National Guard and the state police used helicopters and boats to rescue dozens of people from homes and vehicles. Video footage from local media showed flood waters reaching the roofs of houses and turning roads into rivers.
“We have lost at least 15 Kentuckians though that number is going to grow, probably more than double,” Beshear said in a video on Twitter, adding that 23,000 homes and businesses were without power.
“This situation is ongoing. We are still in the search and rescue mode,” Beshear said. “It’s going to be a tough couple of days. It’s going to be a long rebuild. We are tough enough. We’re going to make it.”
Flood warnings and watches remained in effect throughout the day for the eastern half of the state as well as northeast Tennessee and western West Virginia, where more rainfall was expected to swell waterways that were already well above their flood stages, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
Rivers across the region were expected to crest on Friday and throughout the weekend while a risk of more dangerous flash flooding remained possible again throughout the day, the NWS said.
Elsewhere in the United States, heavy rains battered Las Vegas, where floodwater washed over streets and rushed on to several casino floors and into parking garages along the famed Las Vegas Strip, video posted on local media and social media showed.
At Circa Casino, workers tried to sweep the water away from the flooded floor, while at Planet Hollywood, water rained down on a casino table from what appeared to be a hole in the ceiling.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in ChicagoEditing by Frances Kerry)