Biden to visit storm-ravaged Louisiana



The White House said Biden would survey storm damage and meet with state and local officials.

Since the storm began gathering strength last week, Biden has made a point of deploying federal resources to the state and has received briefings on the storm each day this week.

The consequences of the storm were still becoming clear days after it barreled through Louisiana and Mississippi, ravaging electrical grids and leaving people trapped in their homes.

It could take weeks for power to be restored in some places, officials have said. Almost a million people remained without electricity in Louisiana on Wednesday.

Biden met with governors and local officials virtually on Monday, pledging his support for recovery efforts and soliciting requests for additional help. He tasked his senior adviser Cedric Richmond, a former US congressman from Louisiana, with compiling the requests.

Managing hurricanes has become a key test for presidents seeking to convey competence. Previous storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, have strained federal resources and reflected poorly on the White House.

Ahead of the trip’s announcement, White House aides said they were working to schedule a visit that did not impede recovery efforts on the ground.

“We know Hurricane Ida had the potential to cause massive, massive damage, and that’s exactly what we saw,” Biden said on Monday.

Biden said more than 5,000 members of the National Guard had been activated to support with search and rescue and recovery efforts. He urged people in affected areas to continue sheltering in place if it was safe for them to do so and tried to assure them that help is on the way.

The President ran down a number of actions the federal government has taken including authorizing drones and satellites to assess the damage to energy infrastructure as the government works with private sector energy providers to restore power to the more than one million Louisianans without electricity.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.



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