Scenes from Kentucky flooding devastation aftermath: World in photos

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The world in photos: Aftermath of the eastern Kentucky flooding devastation

The rains keep coming. The toll mounts. Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that 37 people were confirmed dead from the devastating flooding that has battered the eastern part of the state. “There are hundreds of unaccounted for people, minimum,” Beshear said. More than 600 people have been rescued, thousands more forced from their homes, and schools and other municipal buildings have been flooded. President Joe Biden has declared a disaster in the state.

Our curations of photos have brought powerful examples of the ravages of Mother Nature — often exacerbated by climate change — from around the world: record-breaking heat in China, heat and fire across Europe, and fires in the American West. Now, we focus on the rising waters that have been punishing Kentucky for nearly a week, and what they are leaving in their wake.

The photographs give a sense of the damage from the air, land and the region’s rising rivers. They also provide glimpses of the relief and recovery efforts — and ways in which people are comforting one another: praying and sheltering at the Gospel White Church in Hazard; holding a frightened child on board a rescue helicopter.

More rain fell Tuesday, bringing fresh flash flood watches for eastern Kentucky. Meanwhile, the governor had a request for those in his state and beyond.


“With so many more still missing,” he said, “let us pray for these families and come together to wrap our arms around our fellow Kentuckians.”

HINDMAN, KY - JULY, 30: A car and a vintage Hindman Fire Department firetruck remain under a bridge after being washed up by floodwaters. (Photo by Arden S. Barnes/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
HINDMAN, KY - JULY, 30: Kris Patrick, who works as a Luthier at the Appalachian School of Luthiery, looks for a fret kisser tool in the mud covering the floor of the shop. Luthiery is the practice of creating or repairing stringed instruments. (Photo by Arden S. Barnes/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
HAZARD, KY - JULY, 31: Cots line the sides of the sanctuary as Chris Fugate, pastor of Gospel Light Church, speaks before the congregation in Hazard, Kentucky. The church is being used as a shelter for those displaced by the floodwaters  (Photo by Arden S. Barnes/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.

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    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.

  • Mariana Labbate
    Mariana Labbate

    Global Editorial Assistant

    Mariana Labbate is the editorial assistant for Grid's Global team.