President Joe Biden will travel to Louisiana on Friday, the White House announced, where he will meet with local leaders and survey the storm damage inflicted by Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana on Sunday, later downgrading to a tropical storm as it made its way toward the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. The White House announced the president’s upcoming visit on Wednesday, days after the hurricane first struck Louisiana. At least six deaths have been reported throughout the country, and damage from the hurricane could exceed $50 billion, according to the Associated Press.
The continuing focus in the Gulf States is on power restoration, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, as more than 40% of Louisiana remains without power amid a heat advisory, while Mississippi saw some progress in recent days.
The president on Sunday declared a major disaster in Louisiana, ordering federal aid to supplement local efforts, making federal assistance available to the state.
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During a virtual meeting Monday with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Biden emphasized the importance of coordinating all the branches of government in the wake of the disaster.
“And that’s what we’re trying to make sure that we tried to do even before this hurricane hit,” Biden said. “That’s why we began working together – we’re going to stand with you and the people of the Gulf as long as it takes for you to recover.”