This afternoon, President Biden called Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi governors, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Interstate Affairs Director Julie Rodriguez to discuss ongoing preparations for planned Hurricane Ida Amplify Category 4 Hurricane. Ida is expected to be released on Sunday the 16th. This afternoon the president approved a declaration of emergency for the state of Louisiana.
The president and governors discussed the potential impact of Ida and concerns about life-threatening storm surges, heavy rains and hurricane-force winds. They discussed the steps states are taking to pre-position resources and initiate evacuation operations, including moving nursing home residents out of harm’s way. Governor Edwards spoke of his commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in animal shelters through the use of masks, rapid tests and social distancing. The President stressed the importance of getting vaccinated. They discussed the need for residents to prepare on the storm’s path now having had a significant impact given the intensity of the storm and the expected rainfall and storm surges, including visiting Ready.gov and listening to instructions from local authorities.
FEMA positions food, water, generators, and other resources in the area in advance. It has more than 2,000 employees in the affected region and has activated another 500 to provide response support. Urban search and rescue teams and additional ambulances are deployed in the area, and the US Coast Guard is providing aircraft and ships for search and rescue operations in the deep sea. The US Army Corps of Engineers has deployed a Power Restoration Team to Alexandria, Louisiana in anticipation of widespread power outages. The president described the mutual assistance of numerous electricity suppliers from outside the storm path, which includes providing more than 11,000 rope and tree crews and other equipment to help restore electricity.
In the appeal, the president made it clear that the affected communities will have the full support of the federal government to step up state and local emergency response measures.
The President and his team were supported in the call by:
- Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards
- Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
- Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves