Friday Flood Update: President Biden To Visit Eastern Kentucky Monday, “Steady Progress” On Recovery

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Eastern Kentucky on Monday to survey the severe flood damage that has left 37 people dead and has caused hundreds of families to be displaced.

The Bidens will be joined by Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky First Lady Britainy Beshear. Together, they will see recovery efforts at a local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. The governor said that there will be “more details to come” during a 12:30 p.m. press conference on Monday in regard to the visit.

On July 29, the president ordered federal aide to 13 Eastern Kentucky counties impacted by the floods.

In December of 2021, President Biden visited Western Kentucky after a deadly tornado struck multiple communities in the region, killing 80. During that visit, Biden pledged that the U.S. government would cover 100% of the disaster relief costs for the first 30 days.

The governor also announced on Friday that no new deaths have been reported, keeping the number of fatalities from the flooding at 37. He also said 529 people are being housed at emergency centers and in state parks, but that he believes around twice that many displaced individuals are staying with relatives.

“We’re really the first state to open up its parks and to take people in after a natural disasters, something the American Cross CEO thought was pretty innovative,” Beshear said on Friday. “I think it’s just because we care about each other, and we’re willing to use our state resources to help our people.”

Although the flood recovery will take a significant amount of time, the governor said that “steady” progress was being made in terms of getting utilities back up and running in heavily affected areas. Beshear said cell phone service has been substantially restored in the region, and that there are currently 1,202 homes without power which is down from 3,044. There are also 11,773 service connections without water, which is down from 13,590.

Additionally, Beshear said that the state’s flood resources website is being updated daily, and that the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised more than $3.6 million. 

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