LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Joe Biden toured two Kentucky towns Wednesday that were devastated by recent tornadoes, pledging federal aid for the recovery ahead and committing more U.S. government funds for short-term cleanup costs. 

Standing in front of shattered homes in Dawson Springs in western Kentucky, Biden said he had authorized the federal government to cover 100% of the state's emergency response spending for the first 30 days. 

"Every single cost the federal government's going to take care of," the president said, including debris removal, temporary housing and overtime for law enforcement. 

The move amends Biden's disaster declaration for the state Sunday that provided federal funds for 75% of eligible costs, according to the White House

"I promise you, you're going to heal, we're going to recover, we're going to rebuild," Biden told Kentucky residents. "You're going to be stronger than you were before, you're going to build back better than it was."

Biden landed Wednesday morning at Fort Campbell on Air Force One and met with Gov. Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear and former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Andy Beshear's father, before heading to Mayfield and Dawson Springs to survey damage there.

At a briefing with state, federal and local officials at the Mayfield airport, Biden said that immediately after a disaster is when people are "really, really moving and trying to help each other and trying to get things done.

"But after a month, after six weeks, after two months, people can get themselves to the point where they get very depressed about what's going on — particularly our young kids, particularly people who've lost somebody," he said. "And so I just want you to know the help that we're able to offer at the federal level is not just now."

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas thanked first responders who helped after the tornadoes, noting that many were "disaster survivors themselves."

He urged people affected by the storm to go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-FEMA. Beshear said as of noon Tuesday, more than 1,800 families had sought out federal assistance online.

FEMA also has opened centers in Mayfield and Dawson Springs for tornado victims to register for federal assistance. They are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church 960 Industrial Park Road, in Dawson Springs; and at a former Walmart, 1102 Paris Road, in Mayfield. 

The tornadoes that ripped across Kentucky late Friday and early Saturday left 74 people confirmed dead, although 122 still were missing Tuesday. Thousands more in the region are without heat, water or electricity.

Biden said the "scope and scale this destruction is almost beyond belief."

More than 30 tornadoes tore through Kentucky and four other states over the weekend, killing at least 88 people and demolishing homes, downing power lines and cutting off residents from key utilities as temperatures dropped below freezing in Kentucky earlier this week.

"You can see it in peoples' faces," Biden said. "What they're really looking for, and look around, I say to the press... is just to be able to put their head down on a pillow, be able to close their eyes, take a deep breath, go to sleep and make sure the kids are okay."

Jeff and Tara Wilson, a married couple from Mayfield, were at the Graves County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, where a distribution center has been set up to pass out food, water and clothing to storm victims. They were setting up a mobile site for storm victims to receive counseling and said their home was unscathed.

Asked about the president’s visit and the reception he’ll receive in this prominently Republican region, Tara Wilson said: “Don’t know. I think that as long as everybody’s hearts are in the right place, we need to not focus on politics right now.” She said it was a “very positive thing” that Biden was visiting, and she and her husband expressed hope the president might help unite the community.

“This place is like a bomb has been dropped on it. And everyone needs to come together,” Wilson said. “So far that’s what’s happening. You’re seeing everyone pull together.”