Obama visits Louisiana to see damages, promised to help families as they rebuild their lives
Fourth Estate Staff
Baton Rouge, LA, United States (4E) – United States President Barack Obama visited Louisiana, which was hit with historic floods, amid criticisms that he did not prioritize the state and promised that the government will help the families return to their homes and rebuild their lives.
The floods in Louisiana that lasted for days has been dubbed as the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The visit of Obama comes four days after GOP nominee Donald Trump visited the state. Trump criticized Obama for not cancelling his Martha’s Vineyard vacation in exchange for visiting Louisiana. The Republican presidential candidate also took to Twitter to say: “President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!”
Obama did not give comments as to why he was late in coming to the state as he praised the response teams deployed by the state and federal officials. Obama also pointed out that the rebuilding process will take months as he noted, “Sometimes once the flood waters pass, people’s attention spans pass. This is not a one-off. This is not a photo-op issue. I need all Americans to stay focused on this.”
Although Obama did not comment on the statements of Trump, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the president is used to people trying to score political points by using situations they should not. Earnest noted that a $120-million aid has been approved and is being distributed to the flood-impacted residents.
The president also talked with Louisiana’s governor and lieutenant governor in Baton Rouge then departed for a 40-minute tour of the affected homes in Zachary, Louisiana. Obama was seen hugging and talking to residents in the area.
As for the 13 people who died from the flooding, Obama said that they are heartbroken over the loss of life. More than 106,000 residents have also registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Around 60,000 homes were destroyed in the disaster.
Aside from talking to the families affected by the disaster, Obama also met with the families of police officers killed in Baton Rouge last month. Three officials were killed last month after being ambushed by a gunman, who was subsequently killed by other police officials.