Dartanian Stovall watches the house that collapsed with him on the summit of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 30, 2021.
Michael DeMocker | Network USA TODAY via Reuters
WASHINGTON – The federal government is doing everything in its power to help Louisiana and Mississippi rescue residents and recover from Hurricane Ida, President Joe Biden said Monday to state governors.
“We’re here to help put it back on its feet,” Biden said during a virtual briefing at the White House with Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and others.
The hurricane landed Sunday as a powerful Category 4 storm that killed two million people in Louisiana and Mississippi. On Monday morning, one death had already been attributed to the storm. Edwards told MSNBC that he expected that number to grow significantly.
The vast federal response to the storm reinforces one of the pillars of Biden’s approach to the presidency: his belief that the government is gifted solely to mobilize assistance to millions of people.
“People in Louisiana and Mississippi are resilient, but it is at times like these that we can see the power of the government to respond to the needs of the people and respond to the people, if the government is willing to respond. our work, ”Biden said.
Five thousand national guards have been activated across the southeast, Biden said, and more than 25,000 electrical equipment and linemen from 30 states “are on duty to support them.”
To help assess the damage to power lines, Biden said he had ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to work with power companies to deploy surveillance drones in all affected regions.
Biden has also authorized the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide any satellite images that could help assess the damage.
To help more people access the phone service, Biden said the Federal Communications Commission will launch a framework cooperation agreement between wireless carriers so that individuals can use the roaming services of any company.
Cedric Richmond, a former Louisiana representative, showed Biden to meet with the Biden administration as director of the White House Office of Public Works.
The president instructed the governors to come directly to Richmond if they needed anything from the White House.
Ida began landing on Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour, one of the strongest storms to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina, which it hit the area 16 years ago today.
Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was also present on screen at the White House meeting, as was Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
Both Reeves and Edwards thanked Biden for signing pre-ground federal emergency declarations for their states, freeing up federal funds and resources to respond to the emergency.
“We will provide any help you need,” Biden said. “We will stay with you and the people of the Gulf until we need to recover.”
Officers lowered Ida in a tropical storm when it made its way inland Monday, where it was expected to bring heavy rainfall, tornadoes and the potential for severe flooding as it went through the Tennessee Valley and into the United States. Mid-Atlantic later this week.
Precipitation could total 24 inches through portions of southeastern Louisiana south of the Mississippi.
This was Biden’s second meeting in four days with impactful governors: On Friday, he met virtually with Edwards, Reeve, and GOP Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.