Hurricane Ida ripped through much of the Gulf Coast and knocked out power in Louisiana and Mississippi before making its way up to the East Coast of the United States and causing massive flooding in New York and New Jersey. Now, following the destruction it left behind, President Joe Biden assured those affected that the government was here to help in any way possible, 

The category 4 hurricane struck Louisiana on Sunday with 150 mph winds causing tens of billions in damage  Louisiana has been forced to bear the brunt of the storm and is expected to be without power for weeks. Over 1 million people are currently still without power and many residents have been forced to evacuate. The hurricane was so powerful it reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.

 

New York has since experienced 12 storm-related deaths, causing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare a state of emergency. All subway lines in New York have been temporarily suspended. New Jersey has seen 6 storm-related deaths and at least 25 homes either partially or completely destroyed. Pennsylvania has experienced 3 storm-related deaths and dozens have been rescued from the floods.

“We’re all in this together, the nation is here to help,” Biden said. 

According to Biden, more than 250 generators have been deployed to the gulf coast, especially for hospitals in need of them. Biden also noted that more than 6,000 members of the national guard have been deployed to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.

States have been working with the Red Cross to open almost 50 shelters along the gulf coast for those who have lost their homes.

“There is much to be done in this response, we need to get power restored, we need to get more fuel, food, and water deployed, we will be working around the clock until the critical needs of the region are fully met,” Biden said. 

Biden noted that the region hit by Ida was the key center of the nation’s oil production and refining infrastructure. He said his administration is working to increase the ability of gas to and easing the pressure of gas prices across the country. The President has directed the Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm to use all tools at her disposal to keep gas flowing through the pumps. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved emergency waivers to Louisiana and Mississippi to expand the supply of gasoline that can be sold to increase the availability to reduce the risk of gas shortages and price increases. 

Biden acknowledged the millions of people who lost cell phone service because their carrier’s tower was knocked down. The President said he is working with the FCC to work with cell phone companies to allow customers to use roaming services. 

“Just think of the son and daughters, the moms and dads of loved ones trying to reach each other, and the feeling of fear of maybe something happened. Think of the millions of people reaching out for help, this is important and it’s critical,” Biden said. 

Biden called on insurance companies reluctant to provide living assistance to those who weren’t under mandatory evacuation. Biden wants them to protect their customers who were affected by the storm.

“ No one fled this storm because they were looking for a vacation, they left their homes because they felt it was flee or risk death,” Biden said. 

“I’m calling on the insurance companies right now, don’t hide behind the fine print do your job, keep your commitments to your communities that you insure. Do the right thing,” Biden added. 

Biden told the people of the Gulf Coast, “We are here for you,” assuring them the response is “equitable” so those hit hardest are not left behind. Biden said the people of Louisiana and Mississippi are “resilient  and resourceful,” promising them “we will stand with you for as long as it takes to allow you to recover and rebuild.” 

Biden warned that the extreme storms of the impending climate crisis have arrived and that the country needs to be better prepared for such events.

Biden plans to travel to Louisiana to meet with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday.