President Joe Biden directed a surge of federal resources Saturday to the states harmed by tornadoes and severe storms Friday and Saturday.
Biden said the resources would be sent to where the need was greatest after Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky were all affected by the storms, with Kentucky seeing the brunt of the damage. Over 70 are believed to be dead in Kentucky, according to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, with the death toll expected to surpass 100 by the end of the day.
"This morning, I was briefed on the devastating tornadoes across the central U.S.," Biden tweeted. "To lose a loved one in a storm like this is an unimaginable tragedy. We’re working with Governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue."
AT LEAST 70 DEAD AS TORNADOES AND STORMS DEVASTATE MIDWEST AND SOUTH
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending emergency response personnel, water, and other needed commodities to the affected areas. Biden has not announced what other resources are being provided.
Biden was briefed Saturday morning by FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, White House homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, White House deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, and White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Chavez Rodriguez, according to the White House. He will be updated on the situation across the states throughout the day.
Earlier Saturday, Beshear declared a state of emergency in Kentucky, and over 180 National Guard members in the state have been deployed to help.
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An Amazon warehouse in Illinois received "catastrophic damage" with an estimated 50-100 employees inside the building, an Arkansas nursing home struck by a tornado resulted in at least one death and 20 people being trapped, and hundreds of thousands of Tennessee homes are without power after 36 storms swept across six states Friday evening.
Officials are working to provide a death toll as they tend to the injured.