Biden Visits Kentucky, Views Flood Damage

He promises more federal assistance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 8, 2022 1:51 PM CDT
Biden Surveys Flood Damage in Kentucky
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, right, and his wife Britainy Beshear, as they arrive at Wendell H. Ford Airport Landing Zone, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Chavies, Ky   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Monday witnessed the damage from deadly and devastating storms that have resulted in the worst flooding in Kentucky's history, as they visited the state to meet with families and first responders. At least 37 people have died since last month's deluge, which dropped 8 to 10.5 inches of rain in only 48 hours. Gov. Andy Beshear told Biden that authorities expect to add at least one other death to the total. The National Weather Service said Sunday that flooding remains a threat, warning of more thunderstorms through Thursday.

The Bidens were greeted warmly by Beshear and his wife, Britainy, when they arrived in eastern Kentucky, the AP reports. They immediately drove to see devastation from the storms in Breathitt County, stopping at the site of where a school bus, carried by floodwaters, crashed into a partially collapsed building. Beshear said the flooding was "unlike anything we’ve ever seen" in the state and credited Biden with swiftly approving federal assistance. He praised responders who "have moved heaven and earth to get where we are what about nine days from when this hit,” he said.

Attending a briefing on the flooding's impact with first responders and recovery specialists at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, Biden pledged the continued support of the federal government. "We're not leaving, as long as it takes, we’re going to be here," he said. Biden emphasized that politics have no place in disaster response, noting his frequent political battles with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We battle all the times on issues,” Biden said, but in helping Kentuckians rebuild, "we’re all one team." Monday's visit is Biden's second to Kentucky since taking office last year. He visited in December after tornadoes whipped through the state, killing 77 people.

(Read more Kentucky stories.)

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