BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – From gas shortages to power outages during a heatwave to getting financial aid, Louisianans are waiting for the federal government to help. President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Thursday about his recent efforts.
“To minimize the amount of time it will take to get power back to everyone, I have directed the FAA to authorize the use of surveillance drones to assess Ida’s damage to energy infrastructure,” President Biden said.
The president spoke to the CEOs of utility companies about the approval to take gas from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to help meet the need in the state.
Thousands are now trying to apply for aid through FEMA, but the administration has heard of insurance companies denying claims for temporary housing because they were not under a mandatory evacuation order.
“For insurance companies to hide behind a technicality of it wasn’t a mandatory evacuation,” said Cedric Richmond, senior advisor to the President. “We believe that is wrong and we believe those insurance companies should step up and honor their commitment that they made to their policyholders.”
Richmond is a former Louisiana congressman and has been appointed the lead for recovery efforts. He said he knows what it is like to go through a storm and what it takes to build back.
He leaves this message for the parishes impacted:
“They’re not in this alone. That all of the attention is not just on New Orleans or Jefferson Parish or the river parishes,” Richmond said. “We know all the parishes and the places that were damaged, we’re not going to leave anybody behind.”
President Biden will be visiting New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 3 to survey the damage of the storm. He emphasizes the country is in it together to recover from the widespread damage of the storm.