Biden pledges to support communities devastated by Hurricane Ida: “I promise to support you until this is done”


The President met with local leaders, examined some of the storm damage and delivered remarks at LaPlace. He is preparing to conduct a late afternoon aerial tour of the hardest-hit communities, then will meet with the leaders of the Lafourche parish, where he will meet with local leaders.

Upon arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana, Biden was greeted by members of the Louisiana Congressional delegation, including Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Republicans Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell. He was then met by Louisiana Democratic Representative Troy Carter and GOP Representative Garret Graves.

In a meeting at the Emergency Operations Center at St. John the Baptist Parish, Biden said he was there “to listen.”

“I think what we’re all seeing, and I get the same response from my Republican friends here who are in Congress, is that there’s nothing political about it. It’s just about saving. lives and put people back on their feet., and we’re in the same boat. And so we’re not going to leave any community behind, rural, urban, coastal, and I promise to support you until this is done, ”Biden said.

The president also tried to advocate for his legislative proposals funding more climate-resilient infrastructure.

“Things have changed so drastically in terms of the environment. We have already crossed certain thresholds. We cannot build secondary roads, highways, bridges, whatever it was before. Needed now.” said Biden. “And I know the executives of the energy companies understand that very well. We have an important bill, both the infrastructure bill and the budget bill, a reconciliation bill, which calls for significant investments to be able to deal with what is happening. to come.”

Since the Category 4 hurricane crossed the Gulf Coast over the weekend, there have been at least five confirmed hurricane-related deaths in Mississippi and Louisiana. Entire neighborhoods have been windswept, flooded and damaged.
More than 800,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana went without power on Friday, according to PowerOutage.US. And it could take weeks for power to be restored in some places, officials said.
There are also gas shortages in Louisiana – a critical region for oil production and distribution in the United States – leading residents to wait hours at the pump in high temperatures.
As of Thursday morning, nearly two-thirds of gas stations in Baton Rouge (65.8%) and New Orleans (65.2%) were without fuel, according to breakdown figures compiled by GasBuddy. Almost 36% of the state’s gas stations are declared fuel-free.

Ida’s damage did not stop in the Gulf and the Deep South.

Over the past few days, the storm has hit the east coast, triggering flash floods and tornadoes in the northeast. There have been at least 45 deaths in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia caused by flooding.

Biden highlighted his administration’s deployment of federal resources to affected areas and his daily storm briefings. Most recently, on Thursday morning, the President highlighted several measures taken by the federal government to prevent the risk of gas shortages and price increases as a result of the storm. And on Thursday afternoon, the Biden administration announced it would release 1.5 million barrels of crude oil from the United States emergency oil stockpile as the Louisiana gas crisis worsens.

The Bush administration tapped the strategic oil reserve after Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to the energy industry. The Trump administration did the same after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

Hurricane management has become a key test for presidents looking to impart their skills. Previous storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, have strained federal resources and poorly reflected the White House.

The Biden White House has acknowledged that it faces two, if not more, natural disasters exacerbated by climate change across the country.

As a destructive hurricane and flooding hit the eastern half of the United States, the Caldor Fire in the west burned nearly 200,000 acres in California.

Biden’s trip to Louisiana, his second to the state since taking office, comes as he appears to face multiple national and international crises.

The visit to the Gulf comes three days after the United States’ complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in a chaotic airlift operation that left Afghans and the US military dead. And the United States also continues to fight the coronavirus, the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant and the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

Biden’s approval rating, meanwhile, is at its lowest point during his presidency.

In the average poll, it stood at around 47% at the end of August, marking a steady decline since early August (51%), July (52%) and early June (54%).

This title and story has been updated to reflect Biden’s visit.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, DJ Judd, Matt Egan, Madeline Holcombe, and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.


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