First Lady Dr. Jill Biden examines tornado damage in Bowling Green and tours disaster recovery center

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Bowling Green to survey damage from the Dec. 11 tornadoes.

The FLOTUS motorcade arrived in the Creekwood neighborhood of Bowling Green around 12:39 p.m. Dr. Biden was greeted by Warren County Executive Judge Mike Buchanon. He explained to WBKO News that the reconstruction was going to take a long time.

“Those who are wiped out, I’m sure it will take 18 months to two years before we get them back, so we have to find temporary accommodation here,” Buchanon said.

During her visit, she spoke with residents of the Creekwood neighborhood. Many homes in the neighborhood suffered damage.

The First Lady then spoke to two women, the Ford family, whose home had shuttered windows and roof patches.

Dr. Biden also spoke with a mom and two little girls, who thanked FLOTUS for coming.

The mother’s eldest daughter, Ambla, was slightly injured in the tornado.

“We are getting help,” the mother said, “We are very grateful.”

Other people gathered to meet the First Lady, and she asked about the rebuilding process.

A man helps rebuild homes and a construction crew works on a home further up the block from Creekwood.

Dr Biden also visited the Disaster Fulfillment site, where she helped put clothes on hangers.

The First Lady spoke about her message to the people of Kentucky.

“FEMA has been amazing. So I think that’s really who we are as Americans. And, you know, we come together and help each other. And that’s exactly what I saw when Joe and I last week, you know, down in Colorado. So all of these natural disasters that are happening are so tragic and there’s also, you know, the residual, I think, that sanity is going to be needed over time here, especially for these little kids who have suffered a such trauma. But we meet.

Dr Jill Biden then stopped at a food, toy and clothing store for people to stock up.

Then she stopped at a FEMA area with laptops and staff, to help people apply for funds.

Oscar Salvatier, the task force leader for FEMA, greeted the first lady and explained the process people follow to seek help.

Finally, the First Lady stopped at a Red Cross neighborhood, where she gave a speech.

“We have all been changed by this tragedy, but not diminished – instead, we become strong enough to contain both our greed and our joy. And we bear the unbearable with mercy and kindness, turning our faces to the dawn glow and seeking the sunlight of hope that we know we will come.

Many residents that WBKO News has heard about have had problems getting help from FEMA. Congressman Brett Guthrie said he plans to address those concerns with the First Lady.

“It’s important that she’s here and the deputy director of FEMA is here because you can see pictures,” Guthrie said. “It became a little more difficult to ask for help than they had anticipated. And so we just want to make sure people are getting what, what the programs are offering. And in a way that is enough to get it to them. People are suffering – the house behind these is gone.

At the end of Dr. Biden’s remarks which included promising to help with the reconstruction, she said she would be back in Kentucky to check on progress.

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