President Joe Biden received praise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday after he approved a major disaster declaration for Kentucky, which suffered many deaths and extensive damage from tornadoes over the weekend, The Hill reported.
“I appreciate the Administration’s quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis,” the Kentucky Republican said.
The representatives and senators from Kentucky, including Republicans McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul, had written to the president on Sunday to back the request for a major disaster declaration for the state sent by Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear.
Biden ordered federal aid to help with recovery efforts, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, for low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, for eligible local governments and private nonprofit organizations to use on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and for hazard mitigation measures for all for Kentucky, according to the White House, The Hill reported.
The tornadoes, which hit Kentucky and five other states, killed at least 80 people, with officials concerned that the death toll will climb.
Beshear told reporters on Monday that in Kentucky alone there have been 64 confirmed deaths, but “undoubtedly, there will be more” reported over the coming days, because there are an estimated “105 Kentuckians that are unaccounted for,” Politico reported.
The governor added that tens of thousands of homes remain without power throughout the state, and it will take “a significant amount of time” to clear debris and other devastation caused by the tornadoes.
During a White House briefing with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other top emergency response officials on Monday, Biden said that he will travel to Kentucky later in the week to survey the damage and that help from the federal government is “going to be there as long as it takes to help.”