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Joe Biden to view ‘unimaginable damage’ in Louisiana after hurricane Ida

President Joe Biden flies to New Orleans Friday to view a city nearly completely without power amid a frantic recovery effort to clear debris and get the power on amid oppressive heat.

And the president will visit some of the hardest hit areas south of LaFourche, Louisiana where the Category 4 Hurricane made landfall and ripped through structures and devastated entire communities.

His trip comes after Hurricane Ida pummeled Louisiana, before making its way through a swath of the country to cause massive flooding in the Northeast, causing further mayhem and killing dozens. The severe flooding stunned residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York off guard – and could draw national attention away from hard hit coastal areas that took the initial brunt of the storm.

The trip will give Biden the opportunity to address the federal response and meet with local leaders – just days after he defended the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan

Homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida are shown September 2, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a Category 4 storm near Grand Isle, southwest of New Orleans, causing widespread power outages, flooding and massive damage

He will also take an areal tour of some of the hardest hit communities, including Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish, while touring a neighborhood in in LaPlace and giving a speech. 

Biden told the nation Thursday he had been monitoring the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida ‘closely,’ after the Category 4 Hurricane slammed into the Louisiana coast, bringing death and destruction on the way as it made its way up through Pennsylvania and New York. 

‘While the catastrophic flooding wasn’t as severe as it was during Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, Ida was so powerful that it caused the Mississippi River literally to change direction — the flow — change the flow temporarily,’ Biden noted.

He said the ‘good news’ is that the $15 billion levee system put in place around New Orleans after catastrophic failures during Hurricane Katrina appears to have held.

‘It held. It was strong. It worked,’ he said. ‘But too many people and too many areas are still unprotected and saw a storm surge and flooding that was devastating,’ Biden said.

President Joe Biden flies to New Orleans Friday to meet with local officials and view the response to Hurricane Ida

President Joe Biden flies to New Orleans Friday to meet with local officials and view the response to Hurricane Ida

A search and rescue team drives through standing water while checking homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a Category 4 storm near Grand Isle, southwest of New Orleans, causing widespread power outages, flooding and massive damage

A search and rescue team drives through standing water while checking homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a Category 4 storm near Grand Isle, southwest of New Orleans, causing widespread power outages, flooding and massive damage

He pointed to 170 mile and hour winds he said were still unconfirmed by FEMA ‘causing unimaginable damage, with debris and downed powerlines making roads impassable and slowing response efforts to save folks and property.’

Floods let to a series of deaths in the northeast as waters raged in Philadelphia and even Biden’s hometown of Wilmington. 

Biden said he will meet with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and various parish presidents as he views the disaster response.

Homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida are shown September 2, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a Category 4 storm near Grand Isle, southwest of New Orleans, causing widespread power outages, flooding and massive damage

Homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Ida are shown September 2, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Ida made landfall August 29 as a Category 4 storm near Grand Isle, southwest of New Orleans, causing widespread power outages, flooding and massive damage

Michael DiSimone, CEO of the Link Restaurant Group prepares meat to be barbecued to give to people for free as power continues to be out in most of the city after hurricane Ida ripped through the state in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., September 1, 2021

Michael DiSimone, CEO of the Link Restaurant Group prepares meat to be barbecued to give to people for free as power continues to be out in most of the city after hurricane Ida ripped through the state in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., September 1, 2021

An official in Jefferson Parish says a transmission tower that provides power for New Orleans and the east bank of the parish has collapsed into the river near Bridge City. According to the parish's Emergency Management Director, cables strung across the Mississippi River

An official in Jefferson Parish says a transmission tower that provides power for New Orleans and the east bank of the parish has collapsed into the river near Bridge City. According to the parish’s Emergency Management Director, cables strung across the Mississippi River

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during news conference In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Gretna, La. He is set to meet with Biden

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during news conference In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Gretna, La. He is set to meet with Biden

‘Governor Edwards encouraged me to come and assured me that the visit will not disrupt recovery efforts on the ground. That’s what I wanted to be sure of,’ said Biden – who appears to be skipping hard hit communities in southern Louisiana where people are still digging out and assessing massive damage.

He ran into difficulties when he flew to Surfside Florida to view damage there earlier this summer after the tragic Champlain Towers South collapse. There was a shift on the rubble while Biden was at a hotel several blocks away, and the president visited a memorial wall rather than the disaster site itself.

During that visit, Biden met with local leaders including Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, his counterpart in a coronavirus feud. 

“We’re not going anywhere. Tell me what you need,’ he told the assembled leaders, including DeSantis, who praised federal efforts.


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