Standing on an unrecognizable street in Dawson Springs, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would help communities reeling from the devastating tornadoes. “I’ve approved a request to cover 100% of the cost for the first 30 days for all of the emergency work, clearing everything, every single cost,” Biden announced. “The federal government is going to take care of it. It includes debris removal, cost of overtime for law enforcement and emergency service personnel, and shelter.”
The announcement followed a day spent touring tornado-ravaged cities in western Kentucky. President Biden arrived at Fort Campbell in the morning then flew to Mayfield. He met with Mayor Kathy O’Nan and walked through the business district that Friday’s deadly storm leveled.
He then witnessed the aftermath from the air aboard a helicopter to Dawson Springs where he met with families who lost their possessions to the tornado.
Governor Andy Beshear thanked those watching from around the world during a news conference held on streets of his father’s home city. He thanked those who offered assistance and donated to relief funds, and he promised that Kentuckians will rebuild together.
Biden cited the work of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams searching for the more than 100 Kentuckians currently unaccounted for and offered condolences for the 74 lives lost. He insisted that finding permanent housing for those in emergency shelters would be done quickly to limit dangers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president said the scope and scale of the destruction are almost beyond belief, noting his observations flying above western Kentucky. Biden pointed out that there are large stretches where homes once stood that are now flat, rubble-covered ground. He closed with words of encouragement for those impacted, “To all the families here, keep the faith. We’re going to get this done,” Biden said. “We’re in this for the long haul.”