Biden Vows Full Recovery of Ida-Ravaged Gulf Coast: 'As Long as It Takes'

President Joe Biden made a promise to residents of Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by Hurricane Ida this week: "We're going to stand with you for as long as it takes to recover and allow you to rebuild."

Biden addressed the massive storm whose remnants have gone on to pound the Northeast with massive flooding.

"My message to everyone affected is, we're all in this together, and the nation is here to help," Biden said Thursday.

Biden will travel to Louisiana on Friday to survey damage in New Orleans and other areas that were hit hard when slammed ashore Sunday. Specific details about the president's trip, including what areas he will tour or whom he will meet with, are forthcoming, according to the White House.

"We've been monitoring this hurricane closely, and the devastation that it has caused to date: six deaths, about a million homes without power in Louisiana and Mississippi," Biden said. "While the catastrophic flooding wasn't as severe as it was during Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, it was so powerful that it caused the Mississippi River, literally, to change direction—the flow changed temporarily."

Thousands of people in Louisiana, which took the brunt of the Category 4 storm, remain displaced from their homes and without electricity. Meanwhile, the region remains under a heat advisory, as temperatures have soared above 90 degrees.

State and local officials have urged evacuees not to immediately return until conditions improve in the affected areas. Many roads remain blocked by downed trees and other debris.

Biden has assigned former Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond, now a top White House adviser, to be a coordinator of the federal response efforts across Louisiana and Mississippi.

Biden, who has been getting regular briefings on Louisiana and Mississippi, said he was also updated Thursday morning on the storm's continued destruction as it traveled up the East Coast overnight and the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts there. Dramatic rescues have played out in scenes from New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania because of massive flooding.

"I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the first responders, and everyone has been working through the night—well into the morning to save lives and get power back," he said. "There's a lot of damage."

"I made clear to the governors that my team and Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] is on the ground, and ready to provide all the assistance as needed," Biden said.

The Atlantic hurricane season typically runs through the end of November. Recent years have produced several devastating storms. The 2020 hurricane season was the fifth costliest in U.S. history.

Hurricane Ida leaves damage across South, Northeast
"My message to everyone affected is, we're all in this together, and the nation is here to help," President Joe Biden said Thursday. Above, damage in the city of Pointe-Aux-Chenes, near Montegut, Louisiana, on August 30, 2021, after Hurricane Ida made landfall. Mark Felix / AFP/Getty Images