WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden will visit Louisiana on Friday to survey storm damage from Hurricane Ida. Biden will also deliver a speech Thursday outlining his administration’s response to the storm.

It was the fifth most powerful storm to strike the U.S. when it hit Louisiana on Sunday, likely causing tens of billions of dollars in flood, wind and other damage, including to the electrical grid.

Hurricane Ida Landfall
ABC News Via Twitter

As for power restoration in New Orleans, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said some area of the city that received electricity Wednesday, which is welcome news after previous estimates of up to three weeks of no lights.

“With the feed that came in from New Orleans east, critically important to show some progress there and I believe that’s going to continue to build over the coming days,” said Edwards.

Governor Edwards said the President has already approved his request for a major federal disaster declaration. This means for the first 30 days after landfall the federal government’s cost-share will be 100-percent for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Torrential Rains Bring Historic Floods To Southern Louisiana
Joe Raedle/Getty Images


“He also approved individual assistance. Everyone out there who is a hurricane Ida survivor needs to apply to FEMA. I can tell you that in the last day and a half they’ve set records for how many people have applied so quickly,” said Edwards.

Edwards said among his requests to the president is a permanent housing program to begin as soon as possible for southeast and southwest Louisiana.

Friday’s visit will cap a difficult stretch for the president, following the chaotic exit of the U.S. military from Afghanistan and the deaths of 13 U.S. service members helping evacuate of Americans and U.S. allies.

(Story written by DARLENE SUPERVILLE/AP & Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network)

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