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Louisiana Congress members press Biden, Congress to do more for Hurricane Ida victims

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Members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation are requesting President Biden and Congress provide additional assistance amid Hurricane Ida’s “catastrophic” impact on the state.

“Hurricane Ida moved slowly through Louisiana causing catastrophic wind damage and flooding in numerous parishes and leaving nearly 1,000,000 people statewide without electricity, which experts say it will take weeks to restore,” said the delegation.

“At this time, many communities remain without access to drinking water, food, gasoline, and basic needs, while temperatures remain in excess of 100 degrees.”

The letter came from Republican Sens. John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, along with multiple House members – and Reps. Clay Higgins, R, Steve Scalise, R, Mike Johnson, R, Garret Graves, R, Julia Letlow, R, and Troy Carter, D.

BIDEN TO VISIT LOUISIANA TO SURVEY DAMAGE LEFT BY HURRICANE IDA

The congress members added that while the full extent of damage was unknown, Congress should provide “substantial and robust emergency appropriations.”

“We are writing you now to alert you to the need for Congress to provide emergency supplemental appropriations to address Hurricane Ida and the storms from last year, as was done following Hurricane Katrina,” the letter read. 

“Without substantial and robust emergency appropriations from Congress to critical unmet needs accounts like the CDBG-DR [Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery] program, Louisiana families will continue to languish as a result of these devastating storms.”

In seven parishes, at least 95% of customers remained without power Thursday. Only 35,000 of the 405,000 homes and businesses in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish had power Thursday, according to the poweroutage.us website. Statewide, about 900,000 customers were without electricity, down from about 1.1 million at the height of the seventh named storm to hit Louisiana since the summer of 2020.

IDA AFTERMATH: POWER OUTAGES IN LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI PERSIST FOR A FOURTH DAY

On Thursday, Biden tweeted: “To all those still in harm’s way or struggling to deal with the aftermath of these storms and fires — God bless you, keep the faith. We’re working day and night to help — and we will get this done.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also sent resources to help those impacted. On Wednesday, the agency said 12 urban search and rescue teams were operational in Louisiana.

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It added: “Ambulance crews are deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi. This includes 53 ambulances and four air ambulances staged in Baton Rouge, La., with one additional air ambulance in transit. Today, an additional 158 ambulances are expected to arrive in Louisiana and 140 in Mississippi to support impacted areas.”

“FEMA has staged more than 4.5 million meals, 3.6 million liters of water, more than 134,000 tarps and 191 generators. Fifty-six additional generators are staged at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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