Kentucky National Guard members search for tornado survivors in West Liberty, Ky. (U.S. Army/Flickr)

Biden in Kentucky to survey tornado damage; FEMA info

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President Joe Biden visits Fort Campbell, Mayfield, and Dawson Springs today to survey tornado damage, and federal disaster assistance teams are on the ground in Western Kentucky, helping families apply for disaster relief.

Biden will depart Joint Base Andrews for Fort Campbell Wednesday morning. He will then make his way to Mayfield, where he will receive a briefing and tour the storm damage. After Mayfield, Biden will tour storm damage in Dawson Springs. The president is expected to deliver remarks Wednesday afternoon from Kentucky.

FEMA assistance

Michael Dossett, emergency management director for the state of Kentucky, said there are three ways families can apply for FEMA assistance: online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA app on a mobile phone, or by calling at 800-621-3362.

"We already have 1,800 families that have registered in the system, and that's just a small, small portion of what we expect," Dossett pointed out.

Death toll and damages

The official death toll from the storms remains at 74 confirmed fatalities. The age range of those killed now ranges from two months to 98 years, and twelve of those who lost their lives were children. At least 122 Kentuckians are unaccounted for, as search-and-rescue crews continue to comb through the rubble in multiple communities.

Gov. Andy Beshear said he expects total damage costs to exceed hundreds of millions of dollars, given that thousands of homes likely no longer exist, and many more are in need of repair.

"After all major disasters is, a whole lot gets poured in right away, and then, there's not any money left for really expensive things that occur six months, eight months, nine months in," Beshear noted.

You can donate to the Western Kentucky relief fund at TeamWKYReliefFund.ky.gov.

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Written by Nadia Ramlagan of Kentucky News Service.

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