JOE BIDEN Travels to Kentucky to Assess The Damage From The Flood And Speak With The Victims
Washington — President Biden and the first lady are anticipated to go to Kentucky to visit with families and survey the devastation caused by the storms that caused the worst flooding in the state’s history. They will be joined by Gov. Andy Beshear and his wife, Britainy.
Since last month’s flood, which dumped 8 to 10.5 inches of rain in only 48 hours, at least 37 people have perished. According to the National Weather Service, flooding is still a risk, and further thunderstorms are expected through Thursday.
Mr. Biden’s trip to the state on Monday will be his second. He had already been there in December, shortly after tornadoes had ripped through Kentucky, killing 77 people and leaving a path of devastation in their wake.
Beshear recently observed, “I wish I could explain to you why we keep getting pounded here in Kentucky. “I wish I could explain why communities with less affluence continue to be hit and devastated. Although I am unable to explain why, I am aware of what we do in response. We must do everything we can, is the reply. These people are ours. Let’s see to it that we assist them.”
In order to guarantee that the federal government will fully pay the expense of debris clearance and other emergency measures, Mr. Biden has increased federal disaster assistance to Kentucky.
White House press secretary Karine 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.
The flooding came just one month after Beshear visited Mayfield to celebrate the completion of the first houses to be fully constructed since a tornado nearly wiped out the town. Three families were handed keys to their new homes that day, and the governor in his remarks hearkened back to a visit he had made in the immediate aftermath.
More disasters are now putting the state to the test. Since the floods started, Beshear has visited eastern Kentucky as often as the weather has allowed. He has held hour-long daily news conferences to provide information, including a complete range of victim support. Beshear opened relief monies that went directly to people in the affected areas, much like he had done after the storms.
Democratic candidate Beshear, who narrowly upset a Republican incumbent in 2019, is running for reelection in 2023.
Polling has consistently shown him with strong approval ratings from Kentuckians. But several prominent Republicans have entered the governor’s race, taking turns pounding the governor for his aggressive pandemic response and trying to tie him to Mr. Biden and rising inflation.
Beshear comments frequently about the toll surging inflation is taking in eating at Kentuckians’ budgets. He avoids blaming Mr. Biden, instead pointing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and supply chain bottlenecks as contributors to rising consumer costs.