“I believe climate change is real,” Mr Beshear told reporters. “I think it’s causing more severe weather. That said, I don’t know anything about this and whether it’s connected or not, and I don’t want to downplay or politicize what these people are going through.”
It was unclear how the deaths occurred in Kentucky on Thursday, but Mr. Beshear said it was likely that people died in the middle of the night — “maybe even in their sleep.”
mr. Beshear too asked for federal aid to respond to the floods. “The damage suffered is enormous and recovery will be a long-term effort,” he said. “This aid is critical to our efforts and essential to our people.” He also established a state fund for floods to help those affected by the floods.
State officials had also recommended that people evacuate the floodplain of Panbowl Lake in Jackson, Ky., because of a “muddy runoff” at a local dam. More than 100 homes and more than a dozen businesses could face flooding.