Eastern Kentucky flooding: As death toll hits at least 44 victims, here are names we know

A shed washed away by the flood waters of the Troublesome Creek near Main Street, in Hindman, Ky.. The creek has started to recede leaving business owners in the town to start cleanup efforts, on Monday, August 1, 2022.

Over people are dead after heavy rains swelled rivers and creeks, causing historic flooding that devastated 13 counties in Eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that two more people died from "health conditions directly arising from flooding." The two individuals who died were from Letcher and Breathitt counties and died as a result of storms that caused flooding starting on July 26.

The new deaths, reported on Oct. 13, brings the direct death toll to 43, including 18-year-old Aaron "Mick" Crawford, a volunteer who died after assisting with relief efforts in Perry County.

"Let us pray for those families and all of Eastern Kentucky as we continue to try to stabilize the region and ultimately turn toward rebuilding," Beshear said.

Coroners' offices in counties across the region continue to identify bodies, while first responders work to search ravaged communities for missing people.

Here's what we know so far about the victims, based on information from Beshear's office, coroners, media reports, social media posts and interviews with families and friends who lost loved ones.

Do you know someone who died in the Eastern Kentucky floods? Reach out to reporters Jonathan Bullington, Eleanor McCrary and Billy Kobin at jbullington@courierjournal.com, emccrary@gannett.com or bkobin@courierjournal.com.

Latest Kentucky flooding updatesDeath toll remains at 37 as relief efforts continue

Breathitt County

The state has confirmed 10 deaths in Breathitt County. The coroner's office did not respond to a request for more information about the victims.

The Lexington Herald-Leader identified one victim:

  • Jeanette Johnson, 65

The Breathitt Funeral Home confirmed another victim passed from the flood:

  • Gilla Ann Noble Patton Miller, 83

On Oct. 7, meanwhile, Beshear identified a woman whose body had been found more than two months after the flood:

  • Nancy Cundiff, 29

In late January 2023, Beshear's office confirmed a woman who had been missing since the floods had been declared legally dead:

  • Vanessa Baker, 60

Clay County

Clay County Coroner Jarrod Becknell confirmed two deaths:

  • Walter Hinkle, 76

  • Brenda Webb, 81

Hinkle and Webb were lifelong Clay County residents, said Diann Norvell, 69, who grew up near both. Hinkle, she said, "was one of the sweetest men."

"Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody," Norvell said.

Hinkle loved photography, playing guitar and walking along Cane Branch, his family said in his obituary. Hinkle's niece, Debra Hinkle Gay, wrote about her uncle in a Facebook post Friday:

"I sure love Uncle Walter, he didn't just call me Debra … it was always Debra Carol ….. I took him home last week and I always told him I loved him when he would get out of the vehicle and he would grin and say Yeah I know …. I think it embarrassed him. He loved having his picture taken and music and his cigarettes. Uncle Walter you will be so missed … I will miss seeing you on your way to the store or on your way back every day. I love you and I know you're with Jesus and Papaw Boss, Mamaw and Daddy but we're still heartbroken."

How to get help:Mobile FEMA unit opens in Eastern Kentucky

Knott County

The state has confirmed 17 deaths in Knott County.

Four siblings died after floodwaters swept them away from their parents' grip in the Knott County community of Montgomery. Beshear confirmed Friday the bodies of the four children had been recovered.

Through a cousin of the children, the Lexington Herald-Leader identified the siblings as:

  • Maddison Noble, 8

  • Riley Noble Jr., 6

  • Nevaeh Noble, 4

  • Chance Noble, 2

Several cousins and relatives of the children also mourned their deaths on social media and either declined to comment to The Courier Journal or had not yet responded to messages seeking comment.

A coworker to a Noble family member set up a GoFundMe page that has since raised over $60,000 to support them.

"On July 28th, the flood waters near their home in Eastern Kentucky rose so high their family took refuge on the roof of their home. Suddenly, the house gave way beneath as the current rushed through, and they were swept away along with their four children," the GoFundMe page says. "The children...were separated from their family, after the second rush of waters tore them from a tree they had managed to hang on to with their parents."

Father Jim Sichko, a Papal Missionary of Mercy who is well known in Kentucky for his generous acts of charity, also offered to pay for the children's funerals.

Residents of Fisty, a small community of about three dozen people along Troublesome Creek and Kentucky Route 550 that saw several homes washed away in the flooding, also told The Courier Journal about two victims in Knott County whom they identified as a husband and wife:

  • Carol Miller, 72

  • James Miller, 73

According to posts mourning their deaths on social media, James' body has been found, but Carol's has not. On July 31, their daughter, Ashley Collins, said she found out their funerals would be paid in full, but did not say by who.

'I have complete peace':Letcher County residents keep faith after Eastern Kentucky floods

Cody Thompson told The Courier Journal on Sunday that the bodies of his father and grandmother were found after they had been swept from their home in Fisty earlier in the week. He identified them as:

  • Bobby Junior Beaver, 46

  • Betty Beaver, 73

Hindman Funeral Services also posted an obituary for a Hindman woman who died at her home Thursday in the flooding:

  • Rita Hall, 78

Hall is survived by a son, daughter, three grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and two sisters, according to the obituary on the Hindman Funeral Services website, with her funeral scheduled for Aug. 5.

Another Hindman woman who died in the flooding managed a local gas station:

  • Diana Amburgey, 65

Amburgey's daughter told the New York Times that her mother and other members of their family were scheduled to leave for vacation in Florida on Saturday.

"She was so excited," Robin Shepherd told the news outlet. "Why does someone have to go like that, in a way that was so scary to them? She was begging for help and I couldn't help her. I don't know how to even begin to process it. How do other people deal with something like this?"

The New York Times also identified a Knott County victim as a woman who lived with her husband in Pine Top:

  • Rosie Vick, 55

"She'd have a hillside weeded and the grass mowed off it before a man ever could," the wife of the couple's property owner told the news outlet about Vick. "And she was a little firecracker."

Family identified a woman from Pippa Passes as an additional Knott County flooding victim:

  • Eva Nicole "Nikki" Slone, 50

A daughter of Slone's boyfriend told The Courier Journal the woman died after venturing out to check on a woman she would take care of.

Eva Nicole "Nikki" Slone (left) with her boyfriend Marvin Slone

"Her body was found about 1.5 miles at Alice Lloyd College from where her car was found," Jessica Brown said. "They believed she had got out of her car and tried to walk home."

"She was a very well-liked person in Pippa Passes," Brown also said.

Slone's obituary notes she is survived by numerous family members and relatives, including two children, a grandchild (with a second one on the way), her boyfriend or "companion," her sister and stepfather.

Letcher County

Letcher County Coroner Renee Campbell confirmed three deaths:

  • Betty Estep, 67

  • Clarence Sturgill, 79

  • Jewel Sturgill, 65

On Oct. 13, Beshear said another death of a Letcher County resident had been reported. He did not name the individual who had been killed.

Perry County

Seven deaths have been confirmed in the county, according to Deputy Coroner Jeff Combs.

The Lexington Herald-Leader identified three victims:

  • David Campbell, 78

  • Nellie Mae Howard, 82

  • Gabe Hensley, 30

Howard is the great-aunt of Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle, the newspaper reported.

Howard's obituary notes she is survived by a daughter, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, eight great-great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.

"Nellie was a Devout Christian and loved her flowers, especially her rose bushes," her obituary says.

More:Crews recover 2 bodies from Perry County Creek in Eastern Kentucky

Campbell's nephew, Eric Wigdahl, started a GoFundMe that had already raised over $1,000 to support the man's daughter and her immediate family.

"My poor cousin not only lost her father during the flood but also had severe damage done to her home. No family should have to go through something as horrific and tragic as she and her family have had to endure," Wigdahl wrote. "Please consider donating whatever you can to help her and her family."

Wigdahl added that all funds raised will go straight to the daughter and her family to help with funeral bills, temporary housing, food, supplies, clothing and "anything else her family might need during this difficult time."

Hensley's wife told the newspaper that he was a coal miner and father of a 10-week-old son. Hensley and his brother were trying to help people when Hensley's truck was swept away, his wife said in the interview.

This story will be updated.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Eastern Kentucky flooding victims: Death toll at 43. The names we know