President Barack Obama will be landing in Louisiana today (August 23), more than a week after severe floods swept through parts of the state. He is expected to tour ravaged areas. So far, at least 13 people have died and 60,000 homes have been damaged.
While Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Friday (August 19) with running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went to the site Thursday (August 18).
Much of the public responded with harsh criticism towards Obama for his delay in seeing the damage firsthand. But as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN this weekend, his office asked the White House to wait on coming “until the immediate response phase was over.”
President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2016
Subj: Hurting Louisiana needs you, Mr. President
Editorial: https://t.co/Z1Kkdi9oqn pic.twitter.com/2XZg2mCaUi
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) August 18, 2016
Today, FEMA payments are beginning to roll out to Baton Rouge residents affected by the flood, according to Mark Knoller, CBS News White House Correspondent. A few other key updates related to the flooding:
- More than 7,000 people have crowded into 37 shelters, reported The New York Times.
- The response will cost at least $30 million, NPR says.
- Federal assistance to flood survivors will be upwards of $56 million, announced FEMA this weekend.
Watch the president’s statement in Baton Rouge live at 1:55 p.m. EST here.