The largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Advocate, stated “A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero.” The flooding has led to nine deaths and over 20,000 people rescued. The President is in Martha’s Vineyard on vacation. The newspaper is calling on the President to cut his vacation short to view the damage in the state.
The President has discussed the situation with FEMA before a round of golf on Wednesday.
Estimates suggest that two feet of rain fell at the end of last week. Within hours, water levels rose by over four feet. Water flooded people’s homes with many people’s homes still under water. Many deaths occurred as people tried to flee the flood by auto before their cars were swept away with the rising water levels.
Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary, will visit the region on Thursday to assess the ongoing response, according to the White House. As of Thursday morning, no announcements of a plan by President Obama to visit the state were announced.
Obama reached out to John Bel Edwards, the state’s governor, to approve a request for federal disaster funding.
The Advocate wrote: “If the President can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.”
Residents in Louisiana are reminded of the Bush administration that failed to act to the damage in the state caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Reports of 70,000 people have been filed for individual assistance; 9,000 people filed flood insurance claims.