The country is mourning four siblings who are among at least 25 people killed by flooding in eastern Kentucky. The children’s ages range from two to eight years old.
According to their cousin, Brittany Trejo, all four siblings were lost in the flooding, but both of their parents, Amber Smith and Riley Noble, survived.
“They got on the roof and the entire underneath washed out with them and the children. They managed to get to a tree and … held the children a few hours before a big tide came and wash them all away at the same time,” Trejo said. “The mother and father was stranded in the tree for 8 hours before anyone got there to help,” said Trejo.
The bodies of the children have been recovered after a search began on Thursday, July 28. Trejo posted a message that day asking for prayer for the family.
“Prayers for my family that they find Ambers four small children they are missing in all this flood waters,” Trejo wrote.
She kept posting updates about the search until Friday morning when she reported that all four children had been found.
The Knott Country coroner Corey Watson confirmed to NBC News that four siblings had died in the flooding.
The massive flooding has left people without power, water and phone service. The National Guard has been assisting people with both air and boat rescues. There are many state roads that are completely blocked, so it is difficult to reach people in the hardest hit areas.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear gave a briefing on Friday and indicated that the death toll would likely rise as the search for survivors continued.
“It’s hard, it’s even harder for those families and those communities,” he said. “Keep praying, there’s still a lot of people out there, still a lot of people unaccounted for. We’re going to do our best to find them all.”
President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for the state of Kentucky and ordered federal aid to be sent to areas affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides.