NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — President Joe Biden received a firsthand look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida.
The President is promising not only help, but to build back better.
As the President landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Ida’s wrath was evident.
Once stepping off of Air Force One, the President met with leaders on all levels of government as communities prepare to rebuild.
“I know you’re hurting,” Biden said.
The President walked a neighborhood in Laplace and met with residents desperate for help. Biden acknowledged the challenges with not having cell reception or power to know what aid is truly available.
“We’re going to make sure we have someone coming through here going door-to-door to let people know what’s available to them right now,” Biden said.
So far, more than $100 million dollars in critical assistance to those impacted by Ida. $500 payments are being distributed to those who applied for aid through FEMA.
For some residents, help is not coming fast enough.
“I think the President needs to get on FEMA to help the little towns like ours,” one resident said.
President Biden said, “We’re deploying even more federal resources like generators and we will restore power faster than what happened during Hurricane Katrina.”
The President also traveled by Marine 1 over Lafitte, Grand Isle and Port Fourchon. As much of south Louisiana’s infrastructure is destroyed, Biden maintains it is important to improve systems like moving utility lines underground.
“We know for a fact, if they’re underground, they are secure. It will cost more money, but we can’t build back and just put the same old polls up. We have to build back better to be more resilient,” Biden said.
The President is promising aid will come quickly and he said Southwest Louisiana has not been forgotten after Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
Governor Edwards is hopeful that this presidential visit will expedite relief for so many people who desperately need it.