Lost Creek, Kentucky ( Associated Press) — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Monday surveyed damage from recent floods in Kentucky, as well as meeting with affected families and first responders.
Last month, at least 37 people were killed in the storm, which brought 8 to 10.5 inches (20 to 26 cm) of rain in just 48 hours. Governor Andy Beshear told Biden that officials estimate there was at least one more death. The National Weather Service warned on Sunday that the risk of flooding remained and more storms were likely between now and Thursday.
Upon arrival in eastern Kentucky, the Bidens were given a warm welcome by Beshear and his wife, Brittany. They immediately went to Breitit County to watch the devastation, stopping at the spot where a running bus crashed into a partially collapsed building.
Beshear said the floods were “unlike anything we’ve seen in the past” and thanked Biden for quickly approving federal aid to the state.
The governor also praised the rescue forces, “nine days after all this happened, heaven and earth are shifting to get to where we are.”
Attending a briefing on the disaster at Mary Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek, Biden promised continued aid from the federal government.
“We are not leaving. No matter how long this lasts, we will be here,” the president said.
He insisted that political differences be set aside in times of disaster, noting his differences with Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, who is from Kentucky.
“We fight over political issues all the time,” Biden said, but when it comes to helping people during a disaster, he added, “we are all a team.”
Later in the day, Bidens made plans to visit another flood-hit city and visit affected families.
This is the second time Biden has visited the state since becoming president last year. That was after the passage of a tornado in December that killed 77 people and left a trail of destruction.
Schreiner reported from Frankfort, Kentucky and Megarian from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.