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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Biden will visit Mississippi on Friday to survey tornado damage

    Family members of Silver City, Miss., resident Mary Kitchen carry out salvageable items from her home, Tuesday, March 28, 2023. The home, like many hit by Friday's tornado in the Mississippi Delta, sustained severe damage. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will travel to Rolling Fork, Miss., on Friday to tour storm damage and meet with those affected by the deadly tornadoes that killed more than two dozen people last week.

    “The president and the first lady will visit with first responders, state and local officials, and communities,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

    Biden has come under criticism from Republicans who say his decision to, so far, not visit the site of a fiery train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, illustrates his lack of interest in rural communities. But Biden has toured other rural disaster areas during his term, including parts of Kentucky hit by severe flooding.

    Biden on Sunday issued an emergency declaration that made federal disaster funding available to communities in the Mississippi Delta affected by the tornadoes. Storms on Friday night knocked out power across three states and left some towns badly destroyed.

    Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell went to the state on Sunday. FEMA has deployed disaster survivor assistant teams to provide grants for temporary housing, home repairs crisis counseling and other resources.

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