On Monday, Joe Biden will travel to eastern Kentucky to visit people affected by the recent, catastrophic flooding and to survey recovery efforts. According to reports from the White House on Friday, Biden will visit Kentucky with first lady Jill Biden. He will meet with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his wife, Britainy Beshear. The President will also visit a local Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) state disaster recovery center. In July, Biden declared the historic flooding in Kentucky a national disaster and ordered federal aid to help recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding that devastated the area on July 26.
Here’s what we know
- At least 37 people have died since the flooding began, with four of the deceased being children
- Rescue teams are still searching for two missing individuals
- According to Kentucky’s Governor, 150 people are currently being housed at state parks and there are at least that amount at various Red Cross shelters
Biden to visit KY, making this his first trip since COVID-19 diagnosis
On Thursday, Beshear announced that Biden approved individual assistance for Kentucky’s Owsley County. As a result, FEMA has assisted eight counties in Kentucky. But, the help may have arrived too late as 37 people have died so far from the flooding.
Late last year, Biden traveled to western Kentucky to join Beshear to assess the damage following the string of tornadoes that ravaged the area.
In addition, Biden’s upcoming trip to Kentucky will be his first significant one since he contracted COVID-19. As of Thursday, the President had tested positive for six days with a rebound coronavirus infection. He canceled trips to Pennsylvania and Florida last month when he first tested positive for the virus.
As Biden prepares for his trip to Kentucky, the state is still actively rescuing survivors from the devastation caused by the flooding.
Rescue teams still searching for missing folks following historic flooding
According to Beshear, two residents are still missing after state police announced that they had located one of three previously unaccounted for. The governor said that the number of those missing is constantly fluctuating. However, as of Friday, the death toll remains at 37, with rescue missions coming to a close.
“Let’s continue to pray for our eastern Kentucky families affected by the flooding,” Beshear tweeted Thursday. “We will continue to be there for them in the days, weeks, months and years to come.”
As mentioned above, the federal government added Kentucky’s Owlet County to the list of impacted areas approved for assistance by FEMA.
“Let me address something – there are a lot of rumors out there about who qualifies for FEMA or who can apply,” Beshear said in a statement.
“Everyone who has been significantly impacted by the flooding in the eight counties approved for Individual Assistance needs to apply for FEMA. It’s a requirement for our travel trailers and it will be a requirement for other programs. Please apply.”
In the wake of the flooding, hundreds of people have been forced to leave from their homes, with many forced to camp out in Kentucky state parks, travel trailers, and emergency shelters.