WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – President Joe Biden visited California on Thursday as the state suffers damage from devastating storms, which killed at least 20 people.
President Biden toured coastal California towns that were devastated by the storms.
“The federal government is not leaving its responsibility ‘til it’s all fixed, it’s done,” Biden said.
Biden approved a major disaster declaration for the golden state and the amount of federal assistance was increased this week after California was hit by massive storms that delivered between a foot and 17 inches of rain in some areas and about a food and a half of snow in the mountains.
The president met with business owners and people impacted by the severe weather that badly damaged homes and businesses.
“The country is here for you,” Biden said.
The storms also caused landslides around the state in areas that had previously been impacted by drought and wildfires.
“Roads are washing away and already people are dying so we desperately need the help,” Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) said.
More than 500 agents from FEMA and other agencies are in California to help.
“They’re with you to provide disaster relief,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
Lawmakers, like California’s Judy Chu and Ro Khanna, say states need to become more resilient to climate change and severe weather.
“We’re working very, very hard to bring resources from the federal government to address these issues but we also have to tackle climate,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said.
California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state remains on high alert.
Following President Biden’s visit, Vice President Kamala Harris will also visit California on Friday.