During an Aug. 8 visit to survey damage from the severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky that left at least 37 people dead, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the federal government is “staying” until the region is repaired.
"We’re going to come back better than before," Biden said during a press conference in Lost Creek, a small community in Breathitt County. "I really mean it. That’s the objective that I have. Not to come back to what we were before — come back better than what we were before."
The president, along with U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear, spent Monday touring the region where 14 to 16 inches of rain fell July 26-29, leading to hundreds of people being displaced from their homes.
On July 29, the president approved federal aid to Eastern Kentucky counties affected by the floods.
Biden also recently ordered the federal government to cover 100% of the cost of certain emergency services for a 30-day period for affected communities.
In December, Biden visited Western Kentucky after a deadly tornado struck multiple communities in the region, killing 80. During that visit, Biden also pledged that the U.S. government would cover 100% of the disaster relief costs for the first 30 days.
During the Aug. 8 press conference with the president, Beshear praised Kentuckians for pulling together during times of disaster. He also announced that people who are looking to help should donate money, as there’s currently a surplus of supplies and water that have been given.
“We have seen an outpouring of unconditional love from across the country,” Beshear said. “Millions of dollars and so many donations have come in that we have to ask, please, turn to monetary donations. We have seen so much water, so many clothes and the rest, we’re having to find warehouses counties away just to put them in it.”
Donations can be made via the state’s Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.
This story originally was published by CityBeat sister newspaper LEO Weekly.