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Surveying storm damage, Biden vows to help Louisiana recover

Surveying storm damage, Biden vows to help Louisiana recover
September 4, 2021 --- Reuters

LAPLACE (Reuters) – President Joe Biden promised federal aid to storm-ravaged Louisiana and urged national unity for the long recovery still to come on Friday after Ida devastated parts of the US Gulf coast and unleashed even deadlier flooding in the Northeast.

Touring the damage in Louisiana, Biden met Governor John Bel Edwards and local officials to discuss the response to the hurricane, a domestic challenge that follows close on the heels of the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

The fifth most powerful hurricane to strike the United States came ashore in the southern part of the state on Sunday, knocking out power for more than a million customers and water for another 600,000 people, creating miserable conditions for communities as they endure suffocating heat and humidity.

Louisiana's death toll from the storm rose to 10 on Friday after a 59-year-old man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator officials believe was running inside his home.

Remnants of the storm continued northward through the eastern United States, culminating in torrential rains in New York, New Jersey and other states on Wednesday night.

The death toll on the East Coast rose to at least 46, with another six reported missing in New Jersey.

The storm toppled power transmission lines in Louisiana and knocked Gulf oil operations offline, complicating the recovery effort.

The number of homes and businesses without power in the state fell to around 823,000 on Friday as electric utility Entergy Corp  said it had restored service to about 225,000 customers.