U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in eastern Kentucky on Monday to survey damage from severe flooding that swept away houses and vehicles, and killed at least 37 people last week.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit families affected by the disaster along with Governor Andy Beshear, the White House said, before participating in a briefing on the emergency response efforts in Lost Creek, Kentucky.
The couple will also visit with affected families after the briefing and then Biden will deliver remarks.
After days of torrential rain, extreme hot weather descended on the region as families struggled to recover from the flooding.
The arduous task of cleaning up and rebuilding got under way last Wednesday as waters receded and remote areas became more accessible. Mountains of muddy debris, upended vehicles and homes dislodged from their foundations were common sights.
Survivors, gathered at temporary shelters in the stricken region, described the harrowing experience of escaping the fast-rising water with little more than their lives.
About 400 members of the Kentucky National Guard fanned out to deliver hundreds of cases of water and assisting in the recovery effort, Beshear said last week.
The U.S. president approved a major disaster declaration for Kentucky last week, freeing up federal funds for emergency work.
“The floods in Kentucky and extreme weather all around the country are yet another reminder of the intensifying and accelerate impacts of climate change and the urgent need to invest in making our communities more resilient to it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One, using the opportunity to publicize the Inflation Reduction Plan passed Sunday.
Kentucky is under a flood watch through Sunday according to the National Weather Service, as more storms are expected to dump rain on saturated ground throughout the region.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters (Additions and edits for FISM News by Michael Cardinal)