WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden and federal agencies are promising aid is on the way after Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana over the weekend.
In a virtual meeting with governors of affected southern states Monday, Biden said the federal government has already deployed more than 200 generators and thousands of Federal Emergency Management Agency workers and, thanks to the American Red Cross, launched dozens of shelters. Biden has also authorized the use of surveillance drones to assess damage.
“That’s our job,” the president said. “Folks get knocked down. We’re there to help you get back on your feet.”
More than 5,000 National Guardsmen in the region have also been activated and search and rescue efforts are underway in Louisiana. One death has already been linked to the storm, but that number is almost certain to grow.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards welcomed the federal resources. He said up to 2 million people in his state are without power.
“We’re going to be dealing with this damage for quite a while,” Edwards said.
FEMA says that because of the widespread damage in Louisiana, it could be a long recovery. People in New Orleans could be without full power for weeks.
As the storm tracked over Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves said he was worried about rising floodwaters and power outages.
“We’ve got 135,000-plus Mississippi dwellings that have not and cannot receive power,” Reeves said. “We expect that number to significantly increase over the next 20 hours.”
“We’ve been working with the electric sector throughout the night,” Biden assured the governors.