Less than a week after Hurricane Ida battered the
Biden pledged robust federal assistance to get people back on their feet and said the government already had distributed
Residents welcomed Biden's presence, one of them drawing a sign with his last name and a heart for the dot on the “i.” They laughed and posed for selfies.
More formally, Biden met with state and local officials in
“I promise we’re going to have your back,” Biden said.
He also took a flyover tour of pummeled areas including
The president later met privately with Gov.
The devastation was clear even as Air Force One approached
Trips to natural disaster scenes have long been a feature of
In shirtsleeves and boots, Biden was welcomed at the airport by Edwards, a Democrat. Several
Edwards said Biden has "been a tremendous partner,” adding that he intended to keep asking for help until the president said no.
In the aftermath of Ida, Biden is focusing anew on the threat posed by climate change and the prospect that disaster zone visits may become a more regular feature of the presidency. The storm has killed at least 14 people in
The president has pointed to that destruction to call for greater public resolve to confront climate change. His
At Friday’s briefing with local officials, Biden insisted the infrastructure bill and an even more expansive measure later on would more effectively prepare the country.
“It seems to me we can save a whole lot of money, a whole lot of pain for our constituents, if we build back, rebuild it back in a better way,” Biden said. “I realize I’m selling as I’m talking.”
Past presidents have been defined in part by how they handled such crises.
Scientists say climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather events — such as large tropical storms, and the droughts and heatwaves that create conditions for vast wildfires.
Biden's nearly eight-month-old presidency has been shaped in part by perpetual crises. The president went to
Besides natural disasters, the president has had to contend with a multitude of other challenges. He is searching for ways to rescue the 100-200 Americans stuck in
Ida was the fifth-most powerful storm to strike the