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Biden to visit New Orleans to survey Hurricane Ida damage

The president will also meet with state and local leaders to discuss the impact of the storm, one of the strongest to hit Louisiana in the past century.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will travel to New Orleans on Friday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Ida and meet with local and state leaders, the White House announced.

The White House has not yet released any additional details about the president's trip to Louisiana. Biden was briefed by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials over the weekend about Ida and has continued to receive updates on the aftermath of the storm.

Ida made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, marking one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Louisiana in the past century. The 150 mph winds and heavy rainfall left more than a million homes without power, and flattened homes and businesses in the region.

At least six people have died due to the storm, with officials cautioning that the death toll could continue to rise.

While power was restored for some parts of New Orleans on Wednesday, it could take weeks to fully restore power in the region.

Biden spoke to the CEOs of two of the largest utilities in the Gulf Coast on Tuesday and "committed the full weight of the Federal Government to providing support and resources wherever needed to help expedite power restoration efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi," according to a readout of the call provided by the White House.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was sending generators to areas most in need. She also said that more than 31,000 households in Louisiana impacted by Ida have received a one-time payment of $500 to help with basic supplies.

Thousands of people evacuated the state ahead of the storm, and Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that most deaths and injuries were likely to occur in the aftermath of the disaster. He said people who return prematurely could face injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, deep, fast-moving waters, heat exhaustion, and falls from roofs.

Ida, now a tropical depression threatening to produce flash flooding and tornadoes across the South and the mid-Atlantic, made landfall on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.