The family’s home like many others was submerged in the water.
“They got on the roof and the entire underneath washed out with them and the children,” Brittany Trejo, the children’s cousin told the Herald Leader.
“They managed to get to a tree and … held the children a few hours before a big tide came and washed them all away at the same time,” she said.
“The mother and father were stranded in the tree for 8 hours before anyone got there to help.”
Trejo set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the children’s funeral expenses.
People were rescued by boat in many parts of Kentucky
Search continues for those still missing
Gov. Beshear said Friday that “I expect that number to more than double, probably even throughout today.”
“The tough news is 16 confirmed fatalities now, and folks that’s going to get a lot higher,” the governor said during a midday briefing.
The National Guard and search and rescue teams are scouring 4 counties for missing people.
The record floods wiped out entire communities in some of the poorest places in the US have been wiped off the map.