DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT) Tight knit communities are still digging out from the deadly tornadoes that killed at least 100 people across eight states in the heartland. Dawson Springs, Kentucky is just one of the hard hit communities.

Residents continue their road to recovery after President Biden’s visit yesterday afternoon. Among the people at Biden’s visit are a couple who not only shook hands with him, but offered to cook dinner the next time he’s in town. It was quite a conversation.

When President Biden toured the Dawson Springs neighborhood yesterday, he also talked with the people whose homes were either damaged or lost from the tornado. Among them were Philip and Pat Bruce.

“He was really sympathetic with us. Had a lot of sympathy for us. Promised he was going to get it cleaned up. Going to build back better and better,” said Philip Bruce.

Not only were sympathies exchanged between the president and the couple, so was an offer to come back for dinner.

“He said, ‘Don’t be surprised if I come back to Dawson Springs. My wife told him she’d cook him a meal,” Philip recalled. 

“And when I come back, I got one beautiful lady and her husband who promised me a meal,” the president said Wednesday during his speech after the tour.

“He said, ‘Don’t be surprised if I show up.’ I said, ‘Well, you just come in through the front door. We’ll be ready,'” recalled Pat Bruce.

The Bruces were two of several residents who spoke with the president as he walked through a neighborhood in the heavily damaged part of northern Dawson Springs. They say they were impressed with what he told them and others in their neighborhood they’ve lived in for at least 50 years, and already had ideas on what to cook for him.

“I can cook chicken and dumplings, chicken and dressing, you name it. I would do the works if he takes care of this little town. It’s our home. It’s where our heart is,” Pat said.

The Bruces also hope the president returns here not only for the meal, but to see how the town rebounds after the tornado.

(This story was originally published on December 16, 2021)