President Joe Biden met virtually Monday on the damage caused by Hurricane Ida with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Governors and local leaders from Gulf states impacted by the storm.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
Ida has left scores of coastal Louisiana residents trapped by floodwaters and pleading to be rescued, while making a shambles of the electrical grid across a wide swath of the state in the sweltering, late-summer heat.
One of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. mainland, Ida has now weakened into a tropical storm as it pushes inland over Mississippi with torrential rain and shrieking winds.
“We know Hurricane Ida had the potential to cause massive, massive damage, and and that’s exactly what we saw,” Biden said during the virtual meeting.
Two people have died and a million people were without power as officials warned it could be weeks before the grid is fixed.
The power outages have also caused widespread cell service outages, leaving many frantically unable to reach loved ones.
Biden said the Federal Communications Commission has worked out a deal where customers who have lost service can use cell towers from other providers until it is restored.
“And that means you should be able to get a signal no matter who your carrier was or is,” Biden said.
“The main thing I want to make clear to all of you is we’re providing any help that you’re going to need,” he added.
Biden said his White House is coordinating with all branches of government from federal to state to local levels to provide relief and support from the storm. And he told governors and localities his administration will be there “as long as it takes for you to recover.”