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Central Ohio doctor part of search and rescue team in Eastern Kentucky

Courtesy of OSU Wexner Medical Center
Ohio Task Force 1 rescue boats in Eastern Kentucky.

Ohio Task Force 1, a FEMA search and rescue team based out of Dayton, arrived early Friday in Eastern Kentucky, where the governor says the death toll from catastrophic flooding there has risen to at least 30.

The team will deploy a Water Rescue team consisting of 16 members, deploying 5 vehicles.

The team includes Dr. Daniel Bachmann, an emergency medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

He says there is "massive devastation" with wide areas of muddy water and debris, and homes and cars completely or partially submerged.

"There are some roads that are fully impassable, with electrical lines down, trees down, mudslides ... causing the road to fall away," Bachmann said.

The team spent much of the day evaluating the situation and determining where they can be of the most help, Bachmann said.

"There are a lot of people right now who are stranded. Not necessarily in the water—though some of them might be—but just in places where they're completely cut off, and without utilities and food and basic necessities," he said.

Dr. Bachmann said the team will stay in Kentucky for as long as they are needed.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.