WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is in Texas and Louisiana on Saturday touring damage caused by Hurricane Laura, a massive storm that leveled homes and businesses as it slammed ashore this week with 150-mph winds.
Trump visited Lake Charles, Louisiana, and will head toOrange, Texas, later in the day, the White House said. He is set to survey damage from the Category 4 storm, which made landfall on Thursday, and receive briefings on emergency operations and relief efforts.
The president, wearing a red hat that said “USA” on the front and “Trump” on back, arrived in Louisiana at 1:19 p.m. ET. Reporters traveling with him could see blue tarps on houses and debris as Air Force One landed at Chennault International Airport.
Trump toured a warehouse being used for relief supplies and then traveled to a neighborhood near downtown Lake Charles, where he was joined by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, FEMA director Pete Gaynor and Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The storm left tens of thousands without power and has been blamed for at least 14 deaths according to the Associated Press.
Trump signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana on Friday.
“Now it turned out we got a little bit lucky. It was very big. It was very powerful but it passed quickly,” Trump said Thursday during a visit to the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Louisiana Department of Health estimated that more than 220,000 people are without water. Restoration of those services could take weeks or months, and full rebuilding could take years.
Forty nursing homes were relying on generators, and assessments were underway to determine if more than 860 residents in 11 facilities that had been evacuated could return.
Contributing: The Daily Advertiser