Local firefighters part of Indiana Task Force 1 deployment


HANCOCK COUNTY — A few local firefighters who are part of Indiana Task Force 1 deployed late last week to southeastern Kentucky to assist in the response to the area’s massive flooding that has caused over two dozen deaths following heavy rains.

The task force, made up of first responders from around the state, sent two teams made up of 32 personnel to assist. The teams included personnel from Sugar Creek Township Fire Department. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called the flooding “the worst, most devastating flooding event” in the state’s history.

Sugar Creek Township Fire Chief, Brandon Kleine and firefighter Jeff Keithley were both deployed with Indiana Task Force 1 last week in response to the catastrophic flooding in the Southeast region of Kentucky.

Kleine told the Daily Reporter Sunday while it’s not known how long they will join in on the search and resuce efforts he expected them to be in Kentucky helping out through the end of the week.

The death toll in flood-stricken parts of Kentucky climbed to at least 25 and will almost certainly “get worse” as first responders work to account for missing residents, the state’s governor said Saturday.

Cellphone service is still out in some counties, and water systems are overwhelmed, according to the governor. One hospital had no water.

The heavy rains caused power and water outages and prompted a state of emergency declaration from the Governor. More than 6 inches of rain that fell overnight into Thursday, July 28 left some streets underwater.

Indiana’s task force last year deployed to Kentucky after a series of tornadoes ripped through parts of the state, one of which caused the collapse of a candle factory that resulted in eight people’s deaths.