Science & Environment

Biden: U.S. Will Stand With Maui ‘For As Long As It Takes’

President Joe Biden vowed the nation would stand by Maui “for as long as it takes” to rebuild and recuperate from the devastating wildfire that killed at the least 114 folks earlier this month, with hundreds still missing.

The president traveled to Hawaii on Monday after flames ripped by means of the historic city of Lahaina, leaving ruins and ash in its wake. The blaze is already the nation’s deadliest wildfire in additional than a century, however that quantity is predicted to rise as rescue crews proceed to comb by means of the particles.

“For as long as it takes, we’re going to be with you. The whole country will be with you,” Biden mentioned at a information convention from Lahaina after an aerial tour of the city.

He spoke concerning the loss of his spouse and daughter in a site visitors accident in 1972, sharing how sudden tragedy had touched his personal life.

“I know the feeling that many of the people in this town, that hollow feeling in your chest like you’re being sucked into a black hole,” Biden mentioned. “It’s one thing to know, but it’s quite another thing to have to wait to wonder whether your family member is going to be OK.”

President Joe Biden, together with first woman Jill Biden, met with first responders, survivors and native officers on Monday following the lethal wildfires in Maui.

MANDEL NGAN through Getty Images

More than a thousand folks have been residing in emergency shelters because the hearth, though the Federal Emergency Management Agency mentioned many had been moved into resorts or leases as longer-term plans are arrange. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) mentioned the state of affairs on the bottom was “actually worse” than it appeared, including that the restoration course of hasn’t even begun but.

“What you can’t see is the damage to utility infrastructure,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday. “What you can’t see is the thousands of kids who are trying to figure out how to go to school this fall. What you can’t see is the first responders who went into the flames without regard for their own safety and had their own homes burned down.”

Biden speaks Monday at a community engagement event at the Lahaina Civic Center in Hawaii. He told residents the town would be rebuilt “the way the people of Maui want to build."
Biden speaks Monday at a group engagement occasion on the Lahaina Civic Center in Hawaii. He informed residents the city can be rebuilt “the best way the folks of Maui wish to construct.”

MANDEL NGAN through Getty Images

Lahaina was house to about 13,000 folks. Officials have mentioned the huge devastation will possible take years to recuperate from and that it’s going to price billions of {dollars} to rebuild. Residents have already expressed concern about that process, fearful they could possibly be displaced by rich buyers.

Biden pledged Monday, nonetheless, that the federal government would see the city rebuilt “the best way the folks of Maui wish to construct.”

“We’re going to get it done for you but get it done the way you want it done, not get it done somebody else’s way,” the president mentioned at a group occasion later Monday. “I mean it.”

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