LIVE: Aftermath of Hurricane Ida: Biden set to speak on recovery efforts

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Storm damage from Hurricane Ida shocked officials Thursday just days after the powerful hurricane pounded Louisiana and worked its way up the coast, devastating entire communities with severe winds and floods.

Ida, as of Wednesday, was the fifth most powerful storm to strike the U.S. when it hit Louisiana with maximum winds of 150 mph, likely causing tens of billions of dollars in flood, wind and other damage, including to the electrical grid.


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President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on Ida recovery Thursday morning. The president is also set to visit Louisiana Friday to survey the aftermath and meet with local and state leaders.

NewsNation will livestream Biden’s remarks in the player above.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “absolutely would not” visit Louisiana if his presence would take away from relief efforts.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards suggested the visit would be crucial for the president to understand the destruction by seeing the widespread damage for himself.

“There’s nothing quite like visiting in person,” Edwards told reporters Wednesday following a briefing with local elected officials in Jefferson Parish, which took direct blows from Ida. “When you see it for yourself, it is just so much more compelling.”

 The storm’s aftermath and progress in recovering from it are being felt unevenly across Louisiana. In New Orleans, power was restored Wednesday to a small number of homes and businesses, city crews had some streets almost completely cleared of fallen trees and debris and a few corner stores reopened. 

Outside New Orleans, neighborhoods remained flooded and residents were still reeling from damage to their homes and property. More than 1,200 people were walking through some of Ida’s hardest-hit communities to look for those needing help, according to the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s office. 

The death toll rose to at least 14, with eight more deaths reported in New York City on Thursday morning as Ida’s remnants unleashed floods across the northeastern U.S. Earlier deaths included a 65-year-old woman who drowned in her Louisiana home and a 19-year-old found dead in a Maryland apartment complex just north of the nation’s capital.


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The staggering scope of the disaster began to come into focus, with a private firm estimating that total damage from Ida could exceed $50 billion, making it among the costliest U.S. hurricanes.

Biden’s trip Friday to the Gulf region will cap a difficult stretch for the president, who oversaw the chaotic exit of the U.S. military from Afghanistan after a 20-year engagement. That included the deaths of 13 U.S. service members helping evacuate more than 120,000 Americans, Afghan allies and others fleeing life under Taliban rule.

Worker checks on a flooded house in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, La., Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Josh Montford rests his head in his hand while going through his flood damaged home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Jean Lafitte, La. “I’m overwhelmed,” said Montford as he searched for items to salvage. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Emily Francois walks through flood waters beside her flood damaged home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Jean Lafitte, La. Louisiana residents still reeling from flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Ida scrambled Wednesday for food, gas, water and relief from the sweltering heat as thousands of line workers toiled to restore electricity and officials vowed to set up more sites where people could get free meals and cool off. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Airboats shuttle residents to check on their flooded homes as they try to recover from the effects of Hurricane Ida Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Myrtle Grove, La. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Flood waters still surround homes as residents try to recover from the effects of Hurricane Ida Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Myrtle Grove, La. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In the aftermath Hurricane Ida damage to a cemetery is seen Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Plaquemines Parish, La. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
The rusted supports of a twisted tower, that carried crucial electrical feeder lines to the New Orleans metro area, is seen collapsed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Bridge City, La., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A damaged bridge is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Overturned boats are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A volunteer fire station is surrounded by slowly receding floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Floodwaters slowly recede in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida shows damaged and destroys homes during an aerial tour Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in St. Charles Parish, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Animal rescue drive a boat down a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A flood damaged boat is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Mailboxes line a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man walks down a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People carry supplies to their boat at dusk in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Jean Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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