Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana and causes ‘catastrophic damage’; storm strikes New Orleans 16 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina; President Joe Biden declares ‘major disaster’; the National Hurricane Center downgrades Ida to a tropical storm.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has also been updating the media on the hurricane’s aftermath.
She said a number of areas on the Gulf of Mexico coast had sustained “catastrophic” damage, and that while Ida was now a tropical storm it would “continue to inflict damage” as it moves into Mississippi and Tennessee.
Ms Psaki said the federal government was coordinating with state and local officials “every step of the way”.
“It could be weeks to get everything [power] fully back up and running,” she told reporters.
Some 3,600 staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been deployed to America’s southern states, Ms Psaki added, with the agency ready to provide more than three million meals and millions of litres of water if needed.