Final update 12:18 p.m.: Biden and his party have departed for Air Force Two to return to Washington. Look for a complete story on his visit on ajc.com shortly.
Update: 11:40 a.m.: Biden said two more counties have been added to the disaster list: Stephens and Chattooga
Update: 11:39: Vice President Joe Biden said a resident of the Cobb County American Red Cross shelter told him she lost her home and wasn’t sure what would happen.
“‘I know it’s not Katrina,’” Biden said the woman told him.”The truth of the matter is for someone who lost their home, it is Katrina. For some in this shelter it is Katrina.
Sure, he said, it’s not nearly Katrina-like in overall scope, but for those affected, it might as well be.
Update: 11:31 a.m.: U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson (both, R-Ga.) just praised the work of the Obama administration in responding to this week’s floods. Chambliss and Isakson, speaking at the Red Cross shelter at the Cobb Civic Center, toured the damage with Vice President Joe Biden.
“This administration responded in a very magnificent way and in a very quick way,” Chambliss said.
Update: 11:18 a.m.: Deandra Moses is staying at the Cobb Civic Center shelter with her two young children, a son, age 4, and a daughter 3.
They had been in Georgia all of two days when the floods washed out their temporary home. Moses said they were staying with a friend and she isn’t even sure where it was.
“I’m not even sure where I am now,” Moses said, standing outside the Civic Center as Vice President Joe Biden spoke with other residents inside.
Moses said they saved some clothes and got more at the shelter from the American Red Cross.
“Everything else is gone,” she said.
The children are dealing as well as can be expected, she said, although her daughter, Deniyjah, has been waking with nightmares.
Still, Moses said she was pleased to see Biden. It makes her believe that someone cares what happens to her.
“It’s exciting,” she said.
Update: 10:48 a.m.: Vice President Joe Biden is touring the Red Cross shelter at the Cobb Civic Center.
Dressed casually in a blue polo shirt, Biden is mingling with some of the dozens of residents still staying at this shelter, where more than 200 fled in the wake of this week’s storms.
Biden is supposed to speak to the media in a few moments.
Original post: Vice President Joe Biden landed at Dobbins Air Force base this morning aboard Air Force Two and is currently touring flood damaged areas of metro Atlanta.
Disasters such as this week’s flooding that left nine dead in Georgia breed bipartisanship. Joining Biden on his aerial tour of the damage are the state’s two Republican U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will meet them here at the Cobb Civic Center in about 45 minutes. Cagle is standing in for Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is on a trade mission to Panama. U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) will also join Biden here, although it’s unclear if Scott is on the tour with the others.
The Civic Center is the site of one of the busiest American Red Cross shelters and Biden will speak with residents here before speaking to the media, already assembling outside.
At its peak, more than 200 people were staying at the Civic Center shelter and this morning there are several dozen still here. Some are feeding young children, some sitting outside in the sunshine, while others simply wait.
The floods that hit North Georgia this week have caused at least $250 million in damages, although Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has said she expects the true damage will be closer to $1 billion.
Biden’s visit comes the day after President Barack Obama declared five Georegia counties a federal disaster area, freeing residents and business owners in those counties — Carroll, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas and Paulding — to immediately apply for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Small Business Administration. To apply, visit FEMA’s disaster Web site.
More to come …