Philadelphia area Red Cross sending help to flood-ravaged Kentucky

Search and rescue team is in a red boat in a flooded area.

Members of the Winchester, Ky., Fire Department walk inflatable boats across flood waters over Ky. State Road 15 in Jackson, Ky., to pick up people stranded by the floodwaters Thursday, July 28, 2022. Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

A group of Philadelphia area volunteers is on the ground in Kentucky to assist with relief efforts after devastating flooding in the eastern part of the state left more than two dozen people dead.

Members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Region of the American Red Cross are doing what they can to help displaced residents.

Speaking to WHYY News partner 6abc, Mary Knoll of the Red Cross said that residents are holding on to whatever they can salvage. The hardest hit areas of Kentucky received between 8 and 10 1/2 inches of rain over a 48-hour period, and more rain is on the horizon.

“It depends a lot on how much more rain we are going to get,” Knoll said. “It’s hard to get a stable footing until you can get beyond the storm.”

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Heidi Dampman is among those volunteering in Kentucky. Right now, they’re still working on an extended action plan. “People are asking what’s going on,” Dampman explained, but “you can’t just jump in and have the answer right then, you are evaluating everything.”

With rain-toppled cell towers, phone reception remains spotty, hampering the use of popular apps like Google Maps and Waze to guide first responders to their destinations, Knoll said.

As first responders continue to evaluate the storm’s toll, nine shelters have been set up so far. More may be on the way, depending on the forecast.

Knoll urged people to keep those displaced in their thoughts. “They are suffering,” Knoll said.

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