View of a broken property after the arrival of Hurricane Idalia in Horseshoe Seaside, Florida, August 31, 2023.
Julio Cesar Chavez | Reuters
President Joe Biden standing in entrance of a house broken by a fallen tree mentioned it was “however for the grace of God” the harm wasn’t worse.
“No winds this sturdy hit this space in 100 years,” Biden mentioned, talking in Stay Oak, Florida. “Pray God will probably be one other hundred years earlier than this occurs once more.”
Biden and first woman Jill Biden traveled to Florida on Saturday to survey the harm achieved by Hurricane Idalia and meet with locals and restoration personnel. The president mentioned he is directed the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) to do “all the things they’ll” to assist rebuild.
Idalia hit Florida’s Massive Bend area on Wednesday as a Class 3 storm, resulting in widespread energy outages and flooding. The White Home has referred to as on Congress to supply $16 billion in stopgap funding to bolster FEMA’s catastrophe reduction fund which the company mentioned might be exhausted within the first half of September if it’s not replenished. Talking Saturday in Florida, Biden as soon as once more referred to as on Congress to behave.
“These crises are affecting an increasing number of Individuals, and each American recurrently expects FEMA to indicate up when they’re wanted,” Biden mentioned. “I am calling on the US Congress — Democrats and Republicans — to make sure the funding is there.”
Biden initially mentioned he would meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whom he is spoken to so incessantly within the wake of Idalia that the president joked Thursday, “There needs to be a direct dial.” In a press release Friday night time, nevertheless, Jeremy Redfern, a spokesman for DeSantis, mentioned the governor didn’t have plans to satisfy with the president, citing safety difficulties.
“In these rural communities, and so quickly after influence, the safety preparations alone that will go into organising such a gathering would shut down ongoing restoration efforts,” Redfern mentioned.
Talking to reporters en path to Florida, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell mentioned the White Home and governor’s workplace mutually agreed on the situation for Biden’s go to earlier this week and mentioned no safety considerations have been voiced at the moment or earlier than the assertion from DeSantis’s workplace was launched.
DeSantis, who’s looking for the Republican nomination for president, has been a powerful critic of Biden, however the two have come collectively up to now. Biden met with DeSantis after Hurricane Ian final 12 months.
Biden in his remarks famous he has been in “frequent contact” with DeSantis all through the storm and its aftermath, including “the governor was on high of it.”