President Biden Surveys ‘Heartbreaking’ Flood Damage in Kentucky

by Emily Morgan

“Heartbreaking.” That’s the word President Joe Biden used to describe the grave devastation in Kentucky after unprecedented flooding killed 37 people.

Recently, the President made a trip to the state to survey the damage caused by the floods. On Monday, Biden and Frist Lady Jill Biden landed in Kentucky to meet the state’s lawmakers and residents who the disaster had directly impacted.

They met with Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and toured the devastation throughout the day. During the press briefing, Biden brought up climate change as a cause of many natural disasters in recent months.

“As you all know, we’ve suffered a consequence of climate change. A significant number of other catastrophes around the nation. Just in the year and a half I’ve been the President, I know over thousands of acres of forests are burning. More forests have burned down in the West than the entire state of New Jersey, New York, all the way down to the Delmarva peninsula,” said Biden during the open press event.

The President then commended the first responders and a fast-acting state, government, and local response to the disaster and recounted the “heartbreaking” stories of families whose homes and lives were destroyed due to the floods.

Joe Biden praises first responders, National Guard for rapid rescue efforts during Kentucky flooding

He added: “Jill and I are grateful for the first responders, and the National Guard, for what you do. You know, I think the first responders at least up until not too long were kind of taken for granted around the country. Not now, after Covid and some of the other things.”

The President continued: “And you think of how incredibly heartbreaking it is that people– as you look at those creeks and streams that are now running brown. And you see from the helicopter, you see, automobiles, everything from buses to automobiles to homes, literally in the middle of the water on the side of the road. And you think to yourself, what in God’s name happened to those 37 now? Thirty-eight people who are dead, you know, and you hear about the grandmother and granddaughter climb 16 hours to get out of the way and ended up in trouble.”

In addition, Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also stated that the flooding in Kentucky is another indicator that climate change is adding to the number of natural disasters Americans are seeing.

Since the flooding began last week, Gov. Beshear deployed more than 400 National Guardsman to the affected areas. However, residents who lost their homes and loved ones have had a little reprieve in the days since, as Kentucky has seen skyrocketing temps and humidity in the aftermath.

To date, first responders have saved some 1,300 victims amid the wreckage of the flooding. Shortly after the flooding began, Biden declared the flooding a federal disaster, giving the state access to federal resources to pay for recovery and rescue efforts.