Biden to travel to Louisiana Friday, survey Ida damage

Biden to travel to Louisiana Friday, survey Ida damage
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President BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE plans to travel to Louisiana on Friday to meet with state and local officials and view the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida.

The White House said in a statement that Biden will travel to New Orleans “to survey storm damage from Hurricane Ida and meet with State and local leaders from impacted communities.”

Plans for the visit were first reported by The Advocate on Wednesday.

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Biden has received regular briefings on the storm. He met virtually with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and other state and local officials Monday and led a call with energy sector leaders about restoring power following the storm Tuesday.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden remarks on Taiwan leave administration scrambling Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Biden injects new momentum into filibuster fight MORE told reporters Tuesday that Biden was open to traveling to the region to survey the damage of the hurricane, but added that he was mindful of not taking up resources on the ground

Psaki added during a briefing Wednesday that Biden would not be making the trip if it would take away from relief efforts.

“This is a trip that is being planned in close coordination with leaders on the ground to ensure it’s the right time together,” Psaki said. “We are not going to go to any part of the state or visit any community where we would take away from relief and restoration efforts.”

Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday, leaving more than 1 million people in the Gulf region without power. Many people were forced to evacuate their homes over the weekend as the storm hit Louisiana and surrounding states.

Psaki said Wednesday afternoon that more than 40 percent of people in Louisiana remain without power and that power restoration efforts could take weeks. She also said 30,000 customers in Mississippi remain without power.

The Biden spokeswoman described a range of actions the federal government is taking in order to assist recovery efforts, including sharing aerial and satellite imagery to help officials on the ground with power restoration efforts and deploying generators to impacted areas to assist hospitals that have lost power. She said that 1,800 patients have been evacuated from healthcare facilities in Louisiana amid the outages.

Psaki added that the Federal Communications Commission is working with wireless carriers to help restore cell service.

“We continue to encourage individuals from impacted areas in Louisiana to apply for federal assistance,” Psaki said.

Biden has made a handful of trips to disaster-stricken regions of the U.S. since taking office in January.

He traveled to Surfside, Fla., in July to receive a briefing on the partial collapse of a condo building there that left nearly 100 people dead. Biden also visited Houston, Texas, in February after the state experienced a bout of deadly winter weather. 

Updated 3:50 p.m.