One Dead As Storm Pummels Kentucky

A storm swamped parts of eastern Kentucky, causing flash flooding that made roads impassable and trapped some residents in their homes and vehicles. One person was killed and one was missing, authorities said Saturday. 

The missing woman had gotten out of her car after it stalled in deep water about 10 miles south of Pikeville, said state police Sgt. Lynn Cross.

"A woman called her husband on her cell phone and told him she was holding onto a tree and she couldn't hold on any longer. Then the cell phone went dead," Cross said Saturday.

A man who had been reported missing after he was swept away by high water was found alive Saturday, Cross said.

More than 4 inches of rain fell Friday night on the rugged hills northwest of Pikeville, the National Weather Service said. Hardest hit were Pike, Floyd and Perry counties, said Ray Bowman of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management.

Water had started receding Saturday and rescue squads in Floyd and Pike counties were trying to reach areas where witnesses reported vehicles were stalled by rising water. Roads in parts of Pike, Floyd and Harlan counties were still closed, police said.

Early estimates were that water had affected as many as 200 homes in Floyd County, said Patrick Conley, a spokesman with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. Four shelters had been set up in the county to house evacuees.

Leslie Howell Jr., 31, died when his four-wheel all-terrain vehicle stalled and turned over, and he was swept down Hurricane Creek in Boldman, about seven miles north of Pikeville, said state police Sgt. Steven Slone.

Floods this summer in nearby southern West Virginia destroyed some 1,500 homes and killed three people.