Biden holds call with governors ahead of Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida's forecast track at 10 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Ida's forecast track at 10 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.(NOAA)
Published: Aug. 28, 2021 at 11:30 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - President Joe Biden held a call with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to discuss preparations for Hurricane Ida Friday afternoon. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez were also on the call.

Ida is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast on Sunday, which is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall.

During the call, Biden and the governors talked about the potential impacts of Ida, and the concerns about life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds, according to the president’s office. They also talked about what actions each state is taking to pre-position resources and initiate evacuation operations, including moving nursing home residents out of harm’s way.

The president’s office said FEMA is pre-positioning food, water, generators and other resources in the region. It has more than 2,000 personnel in the affected region and has activated another 500 to provide response support. They will initially station vehicles on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

Urban Search and Rescue teams and additional ambulances have been deployed to the region. The U.S. Coast Guard will be prepositioning aircraft and vessel for deep water search and rescue efforts.

Biden reported that utility companies outside of Ida’s path will begin staging more than 11,000 line and tree crews along with other equipment to surge assistance as needed.

On the call, Biden told the governors they have the full support of the federal government to provide assistance as needed and to aid local emergency response efforts.

Earlier that day, Biden approved an Emergency Declaration for the state of Louisiana.

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