In Kentucky, Biden sees firsthand toll of storm devastation (watch president’s comments)

Biden: Fed Govt to cover 100% of cost for first 30 days of of all emergency work

MAYFIELD, Ky. (ABC News) – President Joe Biden on Wednesday surveyed storm damage (click HERE to watch press conference) and met with families in neighborhoods ravaged by the deadly tornadoes.

After Biden surveyed the destruction in Mayfield by air and then on the ground, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear later choked up when thanking Biden publicly and introducing him in Dawson Springs, where Biden had stopped and talked to families whose homes were destroyed, including a 12-year-old girl carrying an American flag in a neighborhood where nearly every tree had been uprooted.

Biden opened his remarks by reminding people used to travel to Dawson Springs for the city’s healing waters, but, Biden said, “Now it’s our turn to help the entire town to heal.”

“I intend to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes to support your state and local leaders, and as you recover and rebuild because you will recover and you will rebuild,” Biden said, surrounded by storm damage. “The scope and scale of this destruction is almost beyond belief. When you look around here, it’s almost beyond belief. These tornadoes devoured everything in their path.”

He also offered condolences for those who lost someone and insisted “something good must happen” from the tragedy.

“I met one couple on the way up, said they’re still looking for four of their friends. They don’t know where they are. And those who have lost someone, there’s no words for the pain of losing someone. A lot of us know it.” Biden said.

“Keep the faith,” Biden added. “No one is walking away. We are in this for the long haul.”

Ahead of his remarks, Biden updated a presidential disaster declaration to boost federal disaster funds from 75% to 100% coverage for debris removal and emergency protective measures in Kentucky for a 30-day period.

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