Vice President Biden Briefed on Storm

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long, also in Chicago for a winter storm warning, said the agency was still conducting assessments of the storm that wreaked havoc on U.S. roads Thursday. His agency had been expecting to deal with “a situation that would unfold into” a weeklong storm, Mr. Long said, “so we’re assessing the effects as we speak.”

“It’s, unfortunately, at this point a horrible situation that we’re facing,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr. Biden said the vice president had spoken early on Friday with the president, then spoke with emergency officials, then was briefed on the severe weather in Illinois.

“The vice president and the president remain in close contact with members of the state and local governments, as well as the entire federal government as the emergency response and recovery process continue,” spokesman Ricky Diaz said.

Following Mr. Biden’s briefing on the tornadoes, Mr. Diaz said the vice president had spoken again with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is in Washington.

“He expressed his strong support for the efforts of the state and local emergency management officials, the first responders who are working around the clock, and the people of Illinois coping with this unimaginable tragedy,” Mr. Diaz said.

The storm struck Chicago and other areas of Illinois on Thursday night, followed by a day and night of heavy snowfall, snow squalls and wind, along with fierce winds.

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