Biden to visit New Orleans to assess Hurricane Ida damage


Published: 2021-09-03 22:11

Last Updated: 2024-07-13 05:56

Source: Al Jazeera
Source: Al Jazeera

President Joe Biden will travel to New Orleans Friday to inspect the damage caused by Hurricane Ida, which hit the coast of the Gulf of Mexico before causing storms and torrential rains that swamped New York.

This is Biden's first trip outside the Washington area since the evacuation crisis that accompanied the withdrawal of US and Western forces from Afghanistan, and he is scheduled to meet local and Louisiana officials and inspect the damage by helicopter.

Eager to refocus on domestic issues, Biden is likely to use the visit to highlight the climate change crisis that is one of his priorities.

He said Thursday that Hurricane Ida and uncontrollable wildfires in the western United States were "another reminder" of this crisis.

"It is a matter of life and death, and we must face it together," he added in a speech at the White House.

Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, caused flooding and strong winds in the southern United States, causing material and human damage.

The hurricane hit the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi before its storms headed north to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, flooding New York City's subway tunnels and streets with water.

In New Orleans, about a million people were left without electricity because of the hurricane, and parts of the city remain without electricity or water.

On Thursday, Biden addressed those affected by IDA, saying, "We are all in this together. The country is ready to help."

He added that he had ordered the use of military drones and satellites to help survey the damage and speed up "complex and dangerous" repair work.

He also ordered the use of US oil reserves to ease supply shortages at refineries, saying, "My message to the people of the Gulf Coast (...) We are here for you."