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Biden pledges a federal response to Hurricane Ida for 'as long as it takes'

Biden pledges a federal response to Hurricane Ida for 'as long as it takes'

September 01, 2021: -On Monday, the federal government is doing everything in its power to help Louisiana and Mississippi rescue residents and recover from Hurricane Ida, Biden told the governors of those states.

“We’re here to help you get back on your feet,” Biden said in a virtual briefing at the White House with Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, and others.

On Sunday, the hurricane made landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm, knocking out power to as 2 million people in Louisiana and Mississippi. By Monday, one death had already been attributed to the battery. Edwards told MSNBC that he expects that number to increase considerably.

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 equipped to mobilize assistance to many people.

“People in Louisiana and Mississippi are resilient, but it is the moments like these that we can see the power of government to meet the needs of people and respond to people if the government is prepared to respond. That is our job,” said Biden.

Five thousand National Guardsmen is activated across the Southeast, Biden said, and over 25,000 electrical crews and linemen from 30 states “are rolling in to support you.”

To help assess the damage to electrical lines, Biden said that he had instructed the Federal Aviation Administration to work with electrical companies to deploy surveillance drones across the impacted regions.

Biden also authorized the Defense and Homeland Security departments to provide any satellite imagery that might help assess the damage.

To help more people get access to phone service, Biden said that the Federal Communications Commission would launch a cooperative framework agreement in the wireless carriers to use the roaming services of any company.

Biden was joined at the briefing by former Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, resigning from the House in January to join the administration of Biden as director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

The president instructed the governors to reach out to Richmond if they need anything from the White House directly.

Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles for each hour, one of the strongest storms to reach the region since Hurricane Katrina, which reach the area 16 years before the day.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell was present on screen at the White House meeting, Cynthia Lee Sheng, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

“We provide any help that you’re going to need,” said Biden.

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