Joe Biden to visit state and meet with Beshear

December 13, 2021
Downtown Mayfield, Ky. after deadly tornados ripped through the small community.  Dec. 11, 2021 Dec. 11, 2021
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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will visit Kentucky on Wednesday to survey the damage from a series of deadly tornadoes that ravaged the state late Friday and early Saturday.

Biden will visit Ft. Campbell, Kentucky for a storm briefing, and he will also survey storm damage in Mayfield and Dawson Springs, Kentucky.

“We’re going to get this done,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Department of Homeland Security and FEMA officials. “We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help.”

More than 30 tornadoes ripped across Kentucky and four other states over the weekend, leaving dozens dead, devastating homes and demolishing entire towns. Kentucky was the hardest hit by what Gov. Andy Beshear said was the deadliest tornado in the state’s history.

Beshear said Monday that 64 people were dead and 105 people remained unaccounted for. 

In Illinois, at least six people were killed when a tornado ripped through an Amazon warehouse north of St. Louis. Four deaths were confirmed in Tennessee and two each in Arkansas and Missouri.

On Saturday, Biden offered condolences to the victims of the deadly storm and indicated that he would travel to the heavily damaged areas once he was certain his visit would not impede recovery efforts. The president also issued an emergency declaration for Kentucky, which he said would accelerate the availability of federal resources to the Bluegrass State.

More:Path of ‘potentially historic’ 5-state tornado may go down as longest ever in US

Biden spoke with Beshear several times over the weekend. The president also spoke with the governors of Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee and Missouri and asked each what resources they needed, the White House said.

Biden’s announcement that he will travel to Kentucky came as the president met with top officials from DHS and FEMA who surveyed the damage in Kentucky on Sunday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell met with Beshear Sunday, and held briefings with other state and local officials to assess the damage caused by the storms.

Contributing: Michael Collins, John Bacon, Chris Kenning and Celina Tebor

Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_

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