BIDEN MEETS WITH OFFICIALS OVER HURRICANE IDA – FIRST “DEATH” AS NEW ORLEANS FACES “POWER OUTAGE”
As the storms slammed the U.S. state of Louisiana, it was reported that at least one was killed by a falling tree in Prairieville according to sheriffs, and on top of that, New Orleans is reportedly plunged into darkness. However, as Biden meets with officials responding to the subject storm the U.S. President had described hurricane Ida as “life-threatening” and declared Louisiana a disaster area.
It’s worth knowing that more than a million people in Louisiana and Mississippi are left in total darkness just after the Category 4 storms made landfall before weakening into a tropical storm on Monday.
Meanwhile, just after Ida had left major destruction in the city, New Orleans mayor ‘LaToya Cantrell’ confirmed during a press briefing that the worst scenario did not happen. Noting that “we did not have another Katrina”. And while the state was prevented from severe flooding, officials also confirmed that levees around the state were not damaged by the storm.
Although, at the moment, New Orleans’s biggest problem is no other than the city-wide power outage that is currently affecting over a million residents. Owing to the fact that a major transmission tower reportedly fell into the Mississippi River Sunday night during the storm. Officials have also made it that it remains unclear when power will be restored.
Nonetheless, it was reported that Biden actually held a public meeting with Louisiana officials while noting that the storm’s death toll, currently stands at one, and “is likely to grow”. Equally, in a bid to curb the scourge over areas experiencing severe flooding, leaders made effort to deploy massive rescue personnel. Based on this, the National Guard in New Orleans made it clear that over 4,900 guard members were deployed throughout the state.
While the storms’ is expected to continue weakening as it travels over the land via a predicted track taking it north over the central United States before veering eastward, and if it turns out based on this calculation, it should reach the mid-Atlantic region by Wednesday.
Going forward, meant Biden meeting, it was noted that the U.S. President actually held a virtual meeting with governors and mayors of cities and states impacted by the storm yesterday, highlighting the efforts that the Federal government is making in responding to the Hurricane. During his remarks, Biden said that:
“We know Hurricane Ida had the potential to cause massive, massive damage”, adding that “and that’s exactly what we saw”.
While noting that the number of confirmed deaths is likely to grow in the coming days due to the magnitude of the storm’s impact, more than 5,000 members of the National Guard from several states have been dispatched to support search and rescue efforts. Biden also added that the Federal Government is poised to support the states of Louisiana and Mississippi in assessing the level of damage to critical infrastructure, by authorizing the use of aerial drones.
“I have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to work with Louisiana and Mississippi electric companies to authorize the use of surveillance drones to assess Ida’s damage to energy infrastructure while ensuring those flights do not disrupt aerial search and rescue operations”.
Further on this, the U.S. health officials Monday declared public health emergencies for Louisiana and Mississippi, as it seeks to suspend government red tape that may get in the way of providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Ida. In view of this, an emergency declaration by Health and Human Services Secretary ‘Xavier Becerra’ moved to put a hold on certain payment rules coupled with other requirements that could result in unwelcome distraction for hospitals and doctors making effort to provide services under stressful conditions.
It’s also worth noting that the region of Dallas wouldn’t be entirely free from this trouble after Ida passes through the region. Therefore, HHS has staged an accident management team in Dallas to provide coordination of federal health and medical support. While in addition to this, a separate team is reportedly providing support for people needing kidney dialysis.
- What more do we know about Biden meeting?