Biden says he will lead relief efforts in North Carolina after the storm

Vice President Joe Biden has made plans to oversee disaster recovery efforts in the Carolinas, where at least 29 confirmed deaths have been attributed to Tropical Storm Florence. “We’ll be here long after the…

Biden says he will lead relief efforts in North Carolina after the storm

Vice President Joe Biden has made plans to oversee disaster recovery efforts in the Carolinas, where at least 29 confirmed deaths have been attributed to Tropical Storm Florence.

“We’ll be here long after the video cameras leave,” Biden told reporters before beginning a tour of storm damage in the Wilmington, N.C., suburb of New Hanover County.

The Vice President spent two hours with the New Hanover County administrator, Kevin Davis, and toured storm-damaged structures there and on the North Carolina State University campus. He also walked with New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies along residential streets in the Wilmington area.

The son of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd, Biden grew up in New Hanover County. It’s where he finished college and settled after stints in the Navy and the State Department.

As Vice President, Biden has made frequent use of the federal resources he could deploy to help the storm recovery efforts.

Earlier in the day, the vice president toured areas in North Carolina taken by the eye of the storm.

“We know that life is fragile. Life can be ended in an instant,” Biden said in an appearance before reporters alongside Gov. Roy Cooper.

In Wilmington, the vice president traveled to high-rises in the upscale Mayfair-Markham neighborhood, where he personally spoke with residents.

Biden told residents he spoke with that they’re still trying to make sense of the damage. “It’s tough,” he said.

The vice president said FEMA Administrator Brock Long is in the area and is helping Gov. Roy Cooper prioritize and communicate relief efforts.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Biden said.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson visited New Hanover County last week to assess the damage, according to the office of Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

“We are approaching this as the worst single natural disaster the state has seen in generations, and people from across the state have come to the right place and the right time to help,” Tillis said in a statement on Thursday.

In addition to the governor, Carson, the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, also visited Wilmington earlier this week. All three officials have called on Congress to approve disaster relief funding for hurricane victims.

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