Biden to join Gov. Beshear to survey flood damage in Kentucky
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President Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived in Kentucky on Monday to meet with families and view damage from storms that have caused the worst flooding in Kentucky history.
At least 37 people have died since last month’s deluge, which dropped 8 to 10.5 inches of rain in just 48 hours. The National Weather Service said Sunday that flooding remains a threat with more storm warnings through Thursday.
Gov. Andy Beshear and his wife, Britain, will join the Bidens for a flood impact briefing with first responders and recovery specialists at Marie Roberts Elementary School in Lost Creek. They will then tour a heavily affected community in the state and meet directly with those affected.
“They will get an update on the disaster response, thank those on the front lines and share the community’s pain,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
KENTUCKY STYLE FOR FLOODING, STORM THREATS
Monday’s visit is Biden’s second to the state since taking office last year. He previously visited in December after tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, killing 77 people and leaving a trail of destruction.
“I wish I could tell you why we keep getting hit here in Kentucky,” Beshear said recently. “I wish I could tell you why areas where people don’t have much keep getting hit and losing everything. I can’t tell you why, but I know what we do in response. And the response is all we can . . . These are our people. Let’s make sure we help them.”
Biden has extended federal disaster assistance to Kentucky, ensuring the federal government will cover the full cost of debris removal and other emergency measures.
Jean-Pierre said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided more than $3.1 million in relief funds and hundreds of rescue personnel have been deployed to help.
“Flooding in Kentucky and extreme weather across the country are yet another reminder of the intensifying and accelerating impacts of climate change and the urgent need to invest in making our communities more resilient,” he said. .
KENTUCKY GOV. BESHEAR, BIDEN TO MEET AFTER DEADLY FLOODING
The flooding came just a month after Beshear visited Mayfield to celebrate the completion of the first homes to be fully built since a tornado nearly wiped out the town. Three families were given the keys to their new homes that day, and the governor in his remarks recalled a visit he had made immediately afterward.
“I made a commitment that day that even though we had been hit, we were not out,” Beshear said. “That we would get back up and move forward. And six months to the day, we’re not just up, we’re not just standing, we’re moving forward.”
Now, more disasters are testing the state. Beshear has been in eastern Kentucky as often as the weather has allowed since the flooding began. He has held daily one-hour press conferences to provide details including a full range of victim assistance. As after the tornadoes, Beshear opened relief funds that go directly to people in the beleaguered regions.
A Democrat, Beshear narrowly defeated a Republican incumbent in 2019 and is seeking a second term in 2023.
KENTUCKY FLOOD LEAVES RESIDENTS SCANNING FOR DRINKING WATER
Polls have consistently shown him with strong approval ratings among Kentuckians. However, several prominent Republicans have entered the governor’s race, taking turns bashing the governor for his aggressive response to the pandemic and trying to tie him to Biden and rising inflation.
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Beshear frequently comments on the rising inflation food is taking on Kentuckians’ budgets. He avoids blaming Biden, instead pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supply chain bottlenecks as contributors to rising consumer costs.