President Joe Biden said his administration is standing by and ready to do “whatever is needed” after several dozen people were killed by a swarm of powerful tornadoes and storms that ripped across six states starting Friday night.
“The federal government will do everything, everything it can possibly do to help,” Biden said during a press conference Saturday from Wilmington, Delaware.
“I promise you, whatever is needed, whatever is needed, the federal government is going to find a way to supply it,” Biden added.
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee were hit by more than 30 tornadoes. Biden said that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is on the ground in each of the six states to assess the damages.
In Kentucky, at least 70 people have died and the number could rise to more than 100. Gov. Andy Beshear said he expects the tornado to be the deadliest one to ever hit the state. More than 180 National Guard have deployed to areas in Western Kentucky, the hardest-hit section of the state.
“All state resources are being brought to bear,” Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said in a news conference.
The president earlier in the day approved Kentucky’s state of emergency, adding Saturday afternoon that he’s ready to approve requests for the other states.
In Illinois, at least two people were confirmed dead after an Amazon warehouse collapsed in Edwardsville.
In Tennessee, the severe weather killed at least three people, a spokesman for the state’s Emergency Management Agency told the Associated Press. Two people were fatally injured in Arkansas, according to The New York Times.
“We’re going to get through this, and we’re going to get through this together,” Biden said. “The federal government is not going to walk away.”