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Water Week: Flooding comes inland

Debris surrounds Buckhorn school, which was badly damaged during historic flooding, in Buckhorn, Kentucky.
Debris surrounds Buckhorn school, which was badly damaged during historic flooding, in Buckhorn, Kentucky.

The death toll of last month’s disastrous floods in Kentucky continues to rise.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday that while the official toll remains at 37, a high school student who was assisting in the clean-up efforts died days after the flooding began in late July.

President Joe Biden toured the region to survey the devastation. He announced the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs of recovery over the next 30 days:

“We are the only major country in the world, that is gone into every major disaster stronger than we went into it. I don’t want any Kentuckian telling me you don’t have to do this for me. Oh yea, we do. You’re an American citizen.”

The number of extreme flooding events across the United States has more than doubled over the past 20 years compared to the previous 20 years. And according to Nicholas Pinter, a professor of applied geo-sciences at U.C. Davis, inland communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to intense rainfall as climate change exacerbates the problem.

We discuss the impact of flooding on inland communities and solutions to its devastation, including the future of managed retreat.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Chris Remington