President Biden paid a visit to Rolling Fork, Miss., on Friday, after multiple deadly tornadoes swept across the state last week and left at least 26 people dead.
“Folks, I know there’s a lot of pain and that it’s hard to believe, at a moment like this, this community is going to be rebuilt, and rebuilt and built back better than it was before,” Biden said.
“The resilience of this community has been remarkable,” he continued. “And I just want you to know, as you fight through this, you’re not alone. The American people will be with you. They’ll help you through it, and so will I.”
Rolling Fork was hit particularly hard when tornadoes tore through the state last Friday, with 13 deaths occurring in the small western Mississippi town alone. Biden declared an emergency on Sunday, making federal funds available to the state to aid in recovery efforts.
“It stayed here just a little over three minutes,” Biden said. “Just imagine. Look it. I mean, I know those you who have been through it know. Three minutes. Three minutes, this neighborhood is basically gone. The stores, everything — gone.”
Biden announced on Friday that the federal government would also cover the full cost of Mississippi’s emergency measures — including debris removal, shelter operations and overtime pay for first responders — for the next 30 days.
“We’re not just here for today,” he added. “I’m determined that we’re going to leave nothing behind. We’re going to get it done for you.”
The president and first lady Jill Biden’s visit to Rolling Fork came as tornadoes threatened the South once again on Friday. As twisters ripped through Arkansas, parts of Mississippi, including Rolling Fork, remained under a tornado watch, according to the National Weather Service.