May 18, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
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Joseph Clark

NextImg:Biden pledges federal assistance after Mississippi tornadoes: ‘We will be there as long as it takes’

President Biden on Saturday offered his condolences to the Mississippi residents reeling from the deadly tornado and severe storms that killed at least 23 people and leveled multiple rural communities.

Mr. Biden pledged that his administration will “do everything we can to help” the communities that have been brought to their knees by the destruction.

“The images from across Mississippi are heartbreaking,” he said. “While we are still assessing the full extent of the damage, we know that many of our fellow Americans are not only grieving for family and friends, they’ve lost their homes and businesses.”

The president said he reached out to Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and has been in contact with the state’s Congressional delegation to offer the full support of the federal government to assist in recovery efforts.

“I also spoke to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, who has already deployed emergency response personnel and resources to support search-and-rescue teams, assess the damage, and focus our federal support where it is needed most quickly,” Mr. Biden said.

“We will be there as long as it takes,” he said. “We will work together to deliver the support you need to recover.”

Mr. Reeves issued a state of emergency on Saturday for all counties affected by the storms that brought wind gusts reaching 80 mph and golf ball size hail in addition to the tornadoes that ripped through several communities late Friday.

“I’m devastated by the destruction and loss of life that these storms have caused,” Reeves said. “The state of Mississippi will continue doing everything we can to marshal every resource available to support our fellow Mississippians who are in need. The state will be there to help them rebuild.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at