Biden Says Hurricane Ida Likely to Be ‘Immense,’ Promises to Allocate Full Federal Aid
22:24 GMT 29.08.2021 (Updated: 23:20 GMT 29.08.2021)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden has warned that Hurricane Ida will be a major life-threatening storm and has promised all the necessary federal assistance to the states that will be affected.
Hurricane Ida made landfall in the US state of Louisiana as a Category Four storm on Sunday, with winds of 150 miles per hour (over 240 kilometers per hour). Notably, Ida hit the Gulf Coast on the 16th anniversary of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina.
Speaking at a Sunday meeting of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Biden said, as seen in the video footage released by the White House, that Ida was a "life-threatening" storm.
"Its devastation is likely to be immense, we shouldn't kid ourselves … Everyone should listen to the instructions from local and state officials, just how dangerous this is, and take it seriously," Biden emphasized, adding that the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Michigan will get the "full resources of the federal government."
On Sunday, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell spoke with government and state officials from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to update them on the Biden administration's preparations for Hurricane Ida, promising assistance and help in local emergency response efforts.
Biden visited FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center on Sunday. On Saturday, he spoke with Criswel, while the day earlier the president spoke with the Governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, promising full support.
According to the White House, in advance of the storm, over 2,400 FEMA employees were deployed and the agency has also prepositioned millions of meals and liters of water, as well as tarps, generators, and additional ambulances. Shelters have been opened across the impacted states and the US Coast Guard has already positioned vessels and aircraft for search and rescue efforts.
Biden approved emergency disaster declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi on Friday and Saturday, respectively, authorizing direct federal help, including power generation. More than 504,000 Louisiana residents were without power on Sunday afternoon as Hurricane Ida began moving over the New Orleans area, according to poweroutage.us.
The Mississippi River in New Orleans partially reversed its flow on Sunday, according to data from the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned on Saturday that Ida could become one of the strongest storms to hit the US state since the 1850s, while New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged people to self-evacuate.