KENTUCKY — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Kentucky on Monday, Aug. 8 to visit families affected by catastrophic flooding last week, the White House announced Friday.
What You Need To Know
- Joe Biden will tour eastern Kentucky flood damage on Monday, the White House announced
- Gov. Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear are joining the Bidens to tour communities damaged by catastrophic flood waters
- Thousands are still without power, water and cell phone service in the region
- Biden will only travel if he tests negative for COVID-19, the White House said.
Assuming Joe Biden is testing negative for COVID-19 by Monday, the Bidens will join Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear to tour communities damaged by flood waters and survey recovery efforts at a local FEMA State Disaster Recovery Center.
Kentucky's Democratic governor was quick to praise the Biden administration for its swift approval of federal disaster assistance for several eastern Kentucky counties.
Torrential rains and flash flooding devastated several counties in eastern Kentucky beginning July 26. The following day, Beshear declared a statewide emergency, freeing up state funds and other forms of aid, as well as directed state agencies to coordinate efforts across federal, state, local and non-profit entities.
FEMA is operating seven mobile centers across eastern Kentucky, and FEMA housing inspectors are on the ground meeting with applicants to verify damage to homes and businesses.
Biden toured western Kentucky with the Beshears in Dec. 2021 after a deadly tornado outbreak swept through the region.
Thousands are still without power, water and cell phone service. Water has especially become a needed commodity, with the National Guard being deployed to deliver 11,600 cases of water on Thursday. To make matters worse, the devastating floods have been followed by an extreme heat wave, meaning clean drinking water is all the more critical.
As of Friday, the death toll from the historic flood remains at 37, according to Beshear. Search-and-rescue teams have made an estimated 1,300 rescues and are still trying to reach stranded victims.