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FEMA, different companies reply to Ida

A whole bunch of emergency responders have been in place in Louisiana and the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers had energy restoration consultants and turbines on the prepared as Hurricane Ida hit on Sunday as one of the crucial highly effective hurricanes to make landfall within the U.S., federal officers mentioned.

The Coast Guard prepositioned vessels for “deep water search and rescue efforts,” and President Joe Biden mentioned federal assist would stay within the area for “so long as it takes.”

“I wish to be sure that we’re able to surge all of the response capability, functionality that we’ve to cope with no matter comes subsequent, and lots’s going to be coming,” Biden mentioned throughout a cease Sunday at Federal Emergency Administration Company headquarters.

A lot of the response started days earlier than landfall and included particular precautions as a result of coronavirus pandemic, the White Home mentioned. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards informed CNN’s “State of the Union” a number of hours earlier than Ida’s landfall that there have been 600 individuals able to deploy for search and rescue efforts, together with groups from 15 different states, with “many extra” on the way in which.

“We’re as prepared as we might be,” he mentioned.

Biden met through videoconference with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on Saturday to debate storm preparations, and he mentioned Sunday that “prepositioning” within the area had been a crucial a part of the response. Greater than 100 floor ambulances and 20 air ambulances have been deployed to assist evacuate nursing houses within the storm’s path, FEMA mentioned. Precautions have been additionally being taken to forestall the unfold of COVID-19 on the massive shelters the American Crimson Cross is opening, together with masking, speedy testing and social distancing.

FEMA deployed 10 Incident Administration Help Groups to assist states — six in Louisiana, two in Alabama and two in Mississippi — and mentioned three extra groups have been on standby to deploy if wanted. Greater than 2,400 FEMA staff have been in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and able to present extra assist, FEMA mentioned.

Biden mentioned the company has supplied 2.5 million meals and greater than 3 million liters of water. 9 City Search and Rescue groups have been in place in Louisiana and three extra groups have been in Alabama, FEMA mentioned.

Environmental Safety Company spokeswoman Jennah Durant mentioned the company’s personnel are coordinating with FEMA in addition to state and native authorities in Louisiana. She mentioned the company had contacted the homeowners and operators of the 23 extremely polluted Superfund websites within the state to make sure prestorm safety preparations have been being made.

Biden permitted an emergency catastrophe declaration for Louisiana on Friday, which approved direct federal assist for all 64 parishes, together with energy era, air transportation, wildlife administration help and water administration. The White Home mentioned Biden additionally spoke with the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama “to clarify that States have the total assist of the Federal authorities to offer help as wanted and to assist native emergency response efforts.”

Biden additionally spoke Saturday with Nationwide Hurricane Middle Director Kenneth Graham, about “how Ida will seemingly be very sturdy and damaging, with harmful, life-threatening storm surge and vital rainfall that may impression each coastal and inland areas,” based on the White Home.

Edwards informed CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Ida was a “main, main storm” that can take a look at the state in methods it hasn’t been examined earlier than, because it occurs alongside with the pandemic.

“It’s unattainable at the moment to say how lengthy the ability will probably be out. And that begins to check your methods,” Edwards mentioned, “whether or not it’s the chance to ship water to the hospitals. You possibly can’t run a ventilator with out electrical energy.”


Related Press reporter Michael Biesecker contributed to this report from Washington.