Biden Visits Kentucky Disaster Area | Current America | DW

US President Joe Biden visited the state of Kentucky, which was hit by devastating tornadoes. Biden completed a scenic flight over a devastated area and visited two of the hardest-hit locations in the southeastern state: Mayfield and Dawson Springs, a city that was 75 percent destroyed. Historic-scale tornadoes killed at least 74 people in the rural and conservative state of Kentucky on Friday night.

Death toll will rise

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said a dozen children were among the dead, including a two-month-old infant. Beshear expects the death toll to rise in the coming days as more than 100 people remain missing.

US President Joe Biden arrived in Mayfield by helicopter

Biden landed aboard Air Force One at Army headquarters in Fort Campbell, Kentucky before boarding a Navy helicopter to fly to Mayfield and Dawson Springs.

Mayfield still without power

There is still no electricity in the town of Mayfield. Mayfield City Council member Jana Adams said it would take workers seven to 10 days to get the utility poles back up and the wires connected. “We have people here from all over the country putting up pylons and laying lines for us,” Adams, who also sits on the board of directors for the local power and water company, told CNN.

US tornadoes leave trail of devastation |  Dawson Springs

A father with his daughter in front of their destroyed home in Dawson Springs

According to rating agency DBRS Morningstar, the tornadoes were likely the worst in the United States since 2011. Insurers are adequately prepared to cover losses without a significant impact on capital, a report said.

US President does not want to politicize

Biden pledged the full support of federal agencies: “We will be on site for as long as it takes to help,” he said Monday in the Oval Office after a meeting on the extraordinary weather phenomenon, which is also affecting Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas combined claimed at least 14 lives. “The federal government has let all governors know they will get what they need, when they need it,” the president said.

US tornadoes leave trail of devastation |  Mayfield

The tornadoes devastated entire neighborhoods in Mayfield

Before leaving, the US President had tried not to politicize the visit. Although Kentucky has a Democratic governor, the US state elected Republican Donald Trump by a large majority in the 2020 election.

Biden does not address climate change

“The President sees people who are going through tragedy, who have lost loved ones and their homes. He sees them as people, not as people with partisan ties,” Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The President also spoke with great caution about a link between these tornadoes and climate change, while in September, when he saw the devastation of Storm Ida in New York and New Jersey, he spoke of “red alert” for the climate and took the opportunity had to advertise its big investment projects. “We have to be very careful. We cannot say with absolute certainty that it has to do with climate change,” he said on Monday, describing only the storms from Friday as “unusual”.

nob/kle (afp, rtr)

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