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3 dead, 5 missing in US floods


Flat Gap (US):  Knee-deep mud and challenging geography were hampering rescue teams as they searched for six people who disappeared during a flash flood that killed three in the state of Kentucky.

Johnson County Coroner JR Frisby confirmed that a third body was found yesterday afternoon in the same general region of the two other bodies uncovered Tuesday.

Crews were combing the wooded, mountainous terrain, hampered by swarming mosquitoes, soupy humidity and mud yesterday. Rescue teams were going door-to-door to try to find the missing as desperate families waited for word.

“It just wears your legs out to walk,” said Gary McClure, the local emergency management director. “You walk from here to there in that mud and you’re ready to sit down. It just pulls you down.”

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency after the Monday afternoon flood, giving local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in recovery efforts.

Seven cadaver dogs were aiding in the search, which stretched more than 8 rugged miles (13 kilometres)- an area with 500 homes and 1,200 residents about 120 miles (190 kilometres) east of Lexington, the state’s second largest city, police said at a news conference.

Authorities estimate more than 150 homes were destroyed.

The roads were lined with empty foundations, where trailers or homes once stood. Cars were flipped upside down and trees uprooted.

Hebert Hayden, 78, left home with his wife for a doctor’s appointment. While they were away, their mobile home was swept from its foundation and crashed nearby. They lost everything.

“All I can say is God was on our side,” he said. “If we would have been here, we would have drowned.”

Fifteen people have been treated at a local hospital and released.

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