Ida Live Updates: Joe Biden Arrives in Louisiana to Survey Hurricane Damage

Live Updates

President Joe Biden arrived in Louisiana Friday to survey the damage from Hurricane Ida and meet with state and local leaders.

Biden traveled to New Orleans and met with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and parish leaders. While giving remarks about his administration's response in LaPlace Friday afternoon, Biden thanked Edwards for the invitation and acknowledged that many people are "hurting."

Biden also acknowledged that many are "frustrated" with the speed of recovery, and said that the administration was working to deliver millions of meals and water rations, as well as generators to aid ongoing power restorations.

In an earlier briefing with local leaders, Biden plugged his infrastructure plan as a way to curtail damage from future storms, saying it is important to make highways, bridges and energy systems "resilient" against the effects of climate change.

"There's nothing political about this," Biden said in the briefing. "It's simply about saving lives and getting people back up and running."

Since Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast a week ago, at least nine people died in Louisiana and two in Mississippi, and more than 875,000 homes and businesses are still without power in both states, according to PowerOutage.us. There is widespread flooding and damage in neighborhoods and gas shortages.

On Thursday, Biden outlined his plan to help recovery efforts in the wake of Ida.

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

FEMA personnel are already on the ground providing food, water, generators and emergency assistance to clear debris and restore infrastructure.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering living assistance to families in impacted parishes and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent approximately 100 personnel and set up a 250-bed medical station.

The Coast Guard and Department of Defense sent personnel and vehicles to aid in search and rescue efforts and more than 6,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen from Louisiana and 10 other states are on the ground to offer help.

The federal government is also working with energy and communication companies to restore power, gas and cellphone service in the area.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Biden Remarks on Ida Response
President Joe Biden, who has made threats from climate change a priority, arrived in New Orleans to tour damage from Hurricane Ida, which pounded the Gulf Coast before bringing havoc to New York. Biden delivers remarks after touring the Cambridge neighborhood affected by Hurricane Ida, in LaPlace, Louisiana, on September 3, 2021. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Ida a 'Reminder' That U.S. Needs to Reinforce Infrastructure, Biden Says

President Joe Biden said that the damage seen from Hurricane Ida is "another reminder" that the U.S. needs to be better prepared for the next hurricane, citing his "Build Back Better" infrastructure plan as the way to do so.

Biden said the investment would update roads, bridges, power grids, drainage and other systems that would potentially curtail damage from future storms.

"We got to build back more resiliently, and we got to make sure we do the same thing across the board," Biden said.

Biden Calls on Insurance Companies to Aid People Who Evacuated Voluntarily Before Ida

President Joe Biden said that there were some reports that private insurance companies may deny coverage to people, those who evacuated voluntarily before Ida made landfall, whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the storm.

The coverage would reportedly only be given to people under mandatory evacuations, even when people under the voluntary orders paid their premiums, Biden said.

The president issued a call for the companies to "pay what you owe" to customers, especially since "no one fled this killer storm because they were looking for a vacation or road trip."

More Federal Resources to Be Deployed to Help Power Restorations After Ida, Biden Said

More federal resources will be deployed to aid efforts to restore power for the many people still without areas affected by Hurricane Ida, President Joe Biden announced during his Friday visit to Louisiana.

This includes hundreds of generators, Biden said.

He acknowledged that many are "frustrated" at the speed or power restoration, despite more than 25,000 workers aiding the effort.

Biden To Speak Soon Regarding Hurricane Ida Response Efforts

President Joe Biden will speak soon on his administration's response to Hurricane Ida, following Friday's visit to tour damage caused by the severe weather.

His remarks, delivered from LaPlace, Louisiana, can be viewed live here.

3,500 Additional Power Workers to Arrive in Louisiana By End of Friday, Entergy Says

Energy company Entergy, which has been working to restore power in the wake of mass outages caused by Hurricane Ida, will have an additional 3,500 independent contractors arrive in the Baton Rouge area in Louisiana by the end of Friday, said Greg Guilbeau, senior manager of distribution operations.

"This is what we requested. This is what we received," Guilbeau said in an update posted on the Entergy Louisiana Twitter page.

Nearly 26,000 workers the company were already working on power restorations in the area, the tweet said.

Greg Guilbeau, senior manager of distribution operations, shares an update on crews brought in to assist the restoration efforts in Baton Rouge. Our nearly 26K workers from 40 states are assessing damage and restoring service across our area. Stay updated: https://t.co/bRwLZNyLXk pic.twitter.com/kKM70yJUnL

— Entergy Louisiana (@EntergyLA) September 3, 2021

FEMA Administrator Pledges Continued Support After Touring Louisiana Ida Damage with Biden

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell pledged that communities would have the continued support from the organization after touring damage caused by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana with President Joe Biden Friday.

"We will continue to apply the full force of the federal government to help communities with their long road to recovery," Criswell said in a tweet.

With @POTUS today in Louisiana touring areas impacted by Hurricane #Ida. We will continue to apply the full force of the federal government to help communities with their long road to recovery. pic.twitter.com/y7AxsDtv0e

— Deanne Criswell (@FEMA_Deanne) September 3, 2021

Biden says he is taking action to provide aid in Louisiana

During the briefing with local officials in LaPlace, President Joe Biden said the U.S. has delivered 6.7 million meals and 6.1 million bottles of water to Louisiana.

He said he was frustrated with the delays in restoring power. He also authorized the use of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to help get gasoline flowing again, WWL's Pual Murphy reported.

In an interview with WWLL ahead of Biden's trip to Louisiana, White House Senior Advisor and Louisiana native Cedric Richmond said the president spoke to the CEO of Entergy personally to offer assistance and to push the company to restore power for hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana.

"We're not waiting to do things," Richmond added. "President Biden is calling out insurance companies that are denying temporary housing assistance because it wasn't a mandatory evacuation. He's saying 'it's an obligation, don't hide behind a technicality.'"

Biden plugs infrastructure bill during briefing with Louisiana officials

President Biden ensured local leaders that Louisiana has his full support.

"There's nothing political about this," Biden said briefing with local officials in LaPlace. "It's simply about saving lives and getting people back up and running."

"We're going to have your back until this gets done," he added. "I'm here to listen."

Biden also took the opportunity to push his infrastructure bill that calls for significant investment into infrastructure to "build back better" for the future.

He encouraged Louisiana officials to review the plan and "look if what we're suggesting makes sense to you."

"If power lines are built underground, it costs money but it runs better," Biden said.

Biden said it is important to make highways, bridges and energy systems "resilient" against the effects of climate change.

"It saves a whole lot of money and pain for our constituency to build [these systems] back in a better way," Biden said. "[The bill] creates significant, good-paying jobs and generate economic growth."

Biden referenced the success of the federal investment to rebuild levees in New Orleans stronger after Hurricane Katrina.

"The levee project was a lot of money but think about how much money it saved, how many lives it saved," Biden said to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

Biden en route to LaPlace

President Biden met Congressmen Troy Carter and Garret Graves in Reserve, Louisiana.

He is now continuing his journey to LaPlace.

Reserve, LA

This is what it looks like at nearly every gas station in Louisiana.

Today, President Biden is landing right down the road to tour LaPlace. pic.twitter.com/iE394oCreq

— Rep. Garret Graves (@RepGarretGraves) September 3, 2021

Biden says Louisiana has the "full support" of the federal government

President Joe Biden said local and state officials in Louisiana "have the full support of the federal government to provide assistance as needed."

I’m in New Orleans, Louisiana to see the aftermath of Hurricane Ida firsthand and to meet with state and local leaders from impacted communities. They have the full support of the Federal government to provide assistance as needed.

— President Biden (@POTUS) September 3, 2021

State officials outline their goals for Ida recovery to Biden

Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise said the priorities for Ida recovery are getting power back, getting fuel back and getting people back to their homes to assess the damage.

Scalise outlined these goals to President Biden once he landed in New Orleans.

State officials are hoping for certain recovery waivers from federal agencies, which Biden was receptive to hear, Scalise said.

Scalise also prepared Biden for the extend of the damage the president will see during his tour.

"Ther is more damaging than we've ever seen, [Hurricane Ida] was more powerful than [Hurrincane] Katrina," Scalise said. "It will probably be upgraded to a category 5. It did real serious damage to many parishes and we will continue to rely on help from the federal government."

Scalise said entire neighborhoods were "flattened" during the strong, sustained winds that "took a severe toll" on homes and the electric grids.

Local officials greet Biden

President Biden is greeted by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, Louisiana Senator Neely Kennedy, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng.

Biden is joined by Cedric Richmond, the president's senior advisor and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richmond is an essential addition to the president's trip, as he is from Louisiana and adds a personal understanding to the area and the effect of storms like Ida.

Biden and Richmond are taking the time to speak with these state and local leaders on the tarmac.

Biden Arrives in Louisiana
US President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana on September 3, 2021. President Joe Biden, who has made threats from climate change a priority, arrived in New Orleans to tour damage from Hurricane Ida, which pounded the Gulf Coast before bringing havoc to New York. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Biden arrives in Louisiana

President Joe Biden has arrived in Louisiana.

Air Force One just landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.

South Carolina National Guard heading to Louisiana

Soldiers from the U.S. Army National Guard in South Carolina are heading to Louisiana to help local efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Approximately 150 soldiers from engineer units, military police and transportation departed Friday.

U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers with the #SCGuard prepare to depart for Louisiana, Sept. 3, to support the @LANationalGuard in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. The SC #NationalGuard is sending approximately 150 Soldiers from engineer units, military police, and transportation. pic.twitter.com/mOcySPutlH

— SC National Guard (@SCNationalGuard) September 3, 2021

Jefferson Parish Councilman shares images of damage in Lafitte

Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Scott Walker shares images of the damage and recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida.

Lafitte will need help for a while. Please keep this wonderful community in your prayers. I will post any opportunities to assist the recovery. pic.twitter.com/948WIdtlpS

— Councilman Scott Walker (@ScottWalkerJP) September 3, 2021

The Army Corps of Engineers is currently delivering a pump to Lafitte to remove water from roadways.

Video from Lafitte. #hurricaneida pic.twitter.com/blCz12rmCX

— Councilman Scott Walker (@ScottWalkerJP) September 3, 2021

People wait in long lines for gas, food, ice amid enduring power outages

Residents in Louisiana are sitting in hour-long lines at gas stations, grocery stores and convenience stores to get gas, food and ice.

People are still without power while enduring triple-digit temperatures.

One resident toldNBC's Shaquille Brewster that he would tell President Biden to "find a way to get gas supplies to the town."

Entergy Louisiana released a more detailed report of the power restoration timeline in New Orleans neighborhoods.

Here’s a more detailed doc with power restoration timeline for New Orleans neighborhoods from @EntergyNOLA 👇 pic.twitter.com/30nmMGZbL4

— Helena Moreno (@HelenaMorenoLA) September 3, 2021

Images of recovery efforts in Louisiana

Residents across Louisiana are working on recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida's destruction.

1 of 9

I-10 open in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced the I-10 is now open west of LA 30 after repairs on powerlines were completed.

However, flooding on LA 3257 in Lafitte, Jefferson Parish has made road clearing operations difficult, DOTD said.

Current conditions on LA 3257 in Lafitte, Jefferson Parish following #HurricaneIda. Flooding continues to impact the area making road clearing difficult. DOTD will reopen roads as soon as it's safe to do so. Visit https://t.co/XMr3BW67By before traveling. pic.twitter.com/pBTZarYXSl

— Louisiana DOTD (@La_DOTD) September 3, 2021

Three supplies sites open in Jefferson Parish

There are three supply distribution sites open in Jefferson Parish Friday.

A site will open at noon at Helen Cox High School in Harvey. There are two other sites open at the Alario Center and the Shrine on Airline.

Water, ice, tarps and meal-ready-to-eat (MREs) will be available at each site.

More on Biden's plans while in Louisiana today:
▪️ briefing from local leaders.
▪️ tour of a LaPlace neighborhood.
▪️ aerial tour of hard hit communities including Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish.
▪️ meeting with leaders in Galliano. #lalege #lagov

— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) September 3, 2021

FEMA activates program to cover cost of temporary housing for displaced Louisianans

FEMA is activating the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program to cover the cost of temporary housing for people displaced by Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana Governor John Edwards said people in 25 parishes are eligible to receive this aid.

ICYMI: Louisianans in 25 designated parishes are now eligible for FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program. You must apply for disaster assistance first at https://t.co/A7h6trCqob. Visit https://t.co/9J8tjNqS75 or call 800-621-3362 for more information. #lagov pic.twitter.com/bfLleAzppd

— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) September 3, 2021

President Biden en route to Louisiana

President Joe Biden finished delivering his remarks on the August job report and is now heading down to Louisiana to survey damage from Ida with state and local officials.

More on Biden's plans while in Louisiana today:
▪️ briefing from local leaders.
▪️ tour of a LaPlace neighborhood.
▪️ aerial tour of hard hit communities including Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish.
▪️ meeting with leaders in Galliano. #lalege #lagov

— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) September 3, 2021

Louisiana officials investigating deaths of nursing home residents

Louisiana officials are investigating the deaths of four nursing home residents who were evacuated to a warehouse before Hurricane Ida made landfall.

A coroner classified three of the four deaths as storm-related, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) said in a statement Thursday.

Over 800 people from seven nursing homes experienced "deteriorating" conditions at the warehouse after Ida hit Sunday.

"Upon hearing reports of deteriorating conditions at the facility after Hurricane Ida made landfall, LDH inspectors promptly visited the site but were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment on Tuesday," the statement said.

Louisiana Department of Health spokesperson Aly Neel told the Associated Press that people were lying on mattresses on the flood, not being fed or changed and not being socially distanced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards vowed to investigate whether the nursing home owner "failed to keep residents safe and whether he intentionally obstructed efforts to check in on them and determine what the conditions were in the shelter" and promised to take "aggressive legal action" if necessary.

Communities set up food, water drives for people affected by Ida

Communities around Louisiana are setting up stations to provide food and water to people affected by Ida.

Camellia Bay Casino sponsored a supplies drive in Slidell.

If you’re looking for food/supplies in #Slidell ⤵️⤵️⤵️⤵️ @FOX8NOLA #hurricanida https://t.co/TWfUiIXL38

— Kelsey Davis (@KelseyDavisNews) September 3, 2021

The National Guard is handing out ice and water in New Orleans.

National Guard are handing out ice, bottled water and MREs at Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans. Practically no line #lalege@NOLAnewspic.twitter.com/qtibX8jwmi

— Tyler Bridges (@tegbridges) September 3, 2021

Louisiana communities can expect power to be restored by next week

Communities in Louisiana can expect to have their power restored by the middle of next week.

Entergy Louisiana released a list of estimated restoration times for areas affected by Hurricane Ida.

"Specific restoration times down to the local area are continuing to be developed and will be released in the coming days," Entergy Louisiana said. "Estimates are subject to change, and we'll issue updates as we learn more."

🚨 BREAKING 🚨 @EntergyLA has released a list of preliminary estimated restoration times for affected communities. pic.twitter.com/ZAQEMqVRb4

— Jefferson Parish (@JeffParishGov) September 3, 2021

Biden set to visit local parishes to inspect Ida damage

President Joe Biden will leave the White House Friday morning and fly to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

He is set to receive a briefing from local leaders at St. John Parish's Emergency Operations Center, the White House said.

Later, Biden will tour a neighborhood in LaPlace, Louisiana and inspect damage by an areal tour of hard-hit areas including Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish.

He will fly out of South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport back to New Orleans en route to Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on his administration's response to Hurricane Ida at 4:15 p.m. ET.