President Joe Biden holds virtual meeting with La., Miss. leaders in wake of Ida destruction
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden delivered a message to storm victims and leaders impacted by Ida Monday. During a virtual meeting with leaders from Louisiana and Mississippi, he promised they would receive anything they need.
President Biden said the federal government is working well with state and local officials on the ground to help deliver emergency supplies and assist in search and rescue efforts.
The president said FEMA has brought in at least 200 generators, with more on the way. He says the priority is on helping utility companies restore power. According to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards who spoke during the call Monday, as many as two million are without power. He hopes hospitals get power back first.
The president also mentioned that while FEMA is leading federal response, other agencies are involved in the efforts. He said there are 5,000 members of the National Guard helping with search and rescue operations that are underway and that the Department of Homeland Security and Pentagon will provide satellite images to help quickly assess storm damage. The president also said the Federal Aviation Administration is working with electric companies to use drones to assess the state of energy infrastructure.
President Biden also said the Federal Communications Commission is working with cell phone providers to ensure that if one carrier is down, other providers will allow calls through roaming.
“The people of Louisiana and Mississippi are resilient, but it’s in moments like these that we can see the power of government to respond to the needs of the people…it’s our job to work together. Folks get knocked down, we’re there to help you get back on your feet,” said President Biden.
Officials say Ida still poses dangers, with many impassable roads, downed power lines and flooding across the region. The president urges storm victims to shelter in place, if possible.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says while levees held up, the damage to his state is still catastrophic.
The White House says administration officials will travel to Louisiana and Mississippi next week to meet with leaders and assess storm damage. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to meet with the governor. Criswell will also travel to Jackson, Mississippi to meet with Governor Tate Reeves.
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