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Biden vows more aid while touring ‘heartbreaking’ flood-stricken Kentucky

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Aug 09, 2022 - 01:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden on Monday vowed to ensure a steadfast federal response as he toured areas of eastern Kentucky ravaged by floods that claimed the lives of at least 37 people.

The deluge saw between 20 to 27 centimeters (8-10.5 inches) of rainfall within two days in parts of Kentucky late last month, and Gov. Andy Beshear is expecting at least one additional fatality to be added to the death toll. Over 1,300 people have been rescued by first responders.

Biden said the scenes of mass destruction left by the flood waters were “incredibly heartbreaking,” and tied the devastating to the escalating effects of climate change as he toured entire neighborhoods torn asunder by the extreme weather.

“As you all know, we have suffered a consequence of climate change, a significant number of weather catastrophes around the nation. Just in the year-and-a-half I’ve been the president I’ve flown over thousands of acres of forests 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,” he said.

“The weather may be beyond our control for now,” the president said, maintaining that federal response workers will stay in Kentucky until “everybody is back where they were” before the extreme flooding.

“We’re going to come back better than before. And I really mean it. That’s the objective. I have not come back to what we were before, (but) come back to better than we were before,” he said, pointing to plans to use the reconstruction to put in place better infrastructure than the region had prior to the floods.

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