Kentucky Local News, Weather, Sports | Lexington, KY | WKYT

Search for missing kayaker on Green River

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - South-central Kentucky counties hardest
hit by torrents of rain during the weekend sought help from the
National Guard on Tuesday as officials said the flooding death toll
was likely to rise after a kayaker was reported missing on the
swollen Green River.
"It's serious out there still," said Mark Marraccini,
spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. "These
waters are very dangerous."
Four people were killed after the weekend's storms washed out
roads and bridges across the southern and central part of the
state, state officials said. Flooding also shuttered post offices,
schools, government buildings and at least one firehouse.
A kayaker from Radcliff remained missing Tuesday in the Green
River around Munfordville, Marraccini said.
Robert W. Atcher has not been seen since Monday afternoon, when
the kayak he was paddling hit a logjam on the swiftly running river
and the current pulled him under water, Marraccini said.
More than 30 National Guard troops were assisting local
authorities in the hardest-hit areas of Monroe, Metcalfe, Casey and
Harrison counties, said David Altom, spokesman for the Kentucky
National Guard.
Altom said troops had also been assisting counties on Monday,
helping with blocked roads, assessing damage, assisting in
evacuations and delivering cots to shelters. Next up would likely
be helping with debris cleanup, he said.
In Olive Hill, the guard made way for the fire department, which
moved into the National Guard armory after the firehouse was
flooded, Altom said.
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western
Kentucky was closed until further notice, with additional flooding
expected through the coming weekend, and visitors were warned to
stay away until the area was declared safe.
Both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley were at 366 feet Tuesday
afternoon, and were expected to rise to a record 370 feet because
of excessive flooding along the Cumberland River, according to a
news release.
"Flood waters are expected to continue rising through Saturday
and will not start dropping until next week," LBL spokeswoman
Kathryn Harper said in the release.
Flooding damaged some voting machines in Bath and Casey
counties. And some blank paper ballots were damaged in Warren
County, Secretary of State Trey Grayson said.
In Metcalfe County, one polling station will have to be
relocated because flood water swept away a community center where
people would have voted, Grayson said.
In Washington, D.C., the entire Kentucky delegation has sent
letters to President Barack Obama in support of Democratic Gov.
Steve Beshear's request Monday for a major disaster declaration for
Kentucky.
Emergency management officials were scheduled to hold a
statewide conference call Tuesday afternoon to discuss needs for
local communities, said Buddy Rogers, a spokesman for the state's
Division of Emergency Management.
Rogers said that 51 counties and 19 cities in Kentucky had
declared states of emergency.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday that "almost every
river over central Kentucky is flooding or is going to flood." The
worst flooding was expected on the Kentucky, Rolling Fork, Green,
Barren, Rough and Licking rivers, the weather service said.
The weekend storms and flash flooding also killed 18 people in
Tennessee, including 17 flood-related deaths, and six died in
Mississippi.


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