Less than a week after Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast, President Joe Biden was Friday in the disaster-hit Louisiana area telling residents, “I know you’re hit, I know you’re grieving.”
Biden met local officials and visited residential areas in LaPlace, a community between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that was hit by strong winds and flooding. The president also visited other communities that were badly affected.
Electricity will be restored in New Orleans by the middle of next week, utility officials said Friday. Sheriff’s deputies warned people returning to communities outside the city to bring basic supplies due to the lack of basic post-hurricane services.
More than 1 million customers are still experiencing power outages in Louisiana, but nearly all of the city’s lights will be back on Wednesday, Entergy said.
Entergy is a power company in New Orleans and much of southeast Louisiana that is in the hurricane’s path.
Ida hit the Louisiana coast on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, the fifth strongest to hit the Americas, killing at least nine people before moving north across the East coast of America, pouring torrential rain and widespread flooding Wednesday in New York, New Jersey and surrounding area.
According to officials in five northeastern US states, Friday (3/9), at least 49 died in flash floods caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. At least 25 were killed and six missing, said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. At least 11 died in New York City, with police going to every home looking for more victims. Other deaths were reported in the states of New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
The US National Weather Service had warned of flash flooding, but the intensity of the storm took many by surprise.
Biden called the extreme storms and wildfires raging on the West Coast a reminder that climate change is real. He urged Congress to approve his infrastructure bill, which contains steps to address it. [ka/ah]