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Hurricane Ida: Biden to visit Louisiana

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Hurricane Ida: Biden to visit Louisiana
A man walks past a giant live oak tree that was blown down in the Mid-City area of New Orleans during Hurricane Ida on Tuesday. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to New Orleans later this week to observe the impacts of Hurricane Ida, the White House announced Wednesday.

"On Friday, September 3, the president will travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, to survey storm damage from Hurricane Ida and meet with state and local leaders from impacted communities," a statement from his office said.

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Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., praised Biden's decision to travel to the storm-ravaged state.

"We thank President Biden for coming down to help him understand the magnitude of the situation here in southeast Louisiana," he said in a statement to the Shreveport Times. "We know from bitter experience with Hurricane Laura that aid can be delayed too long.

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Over the weekend, Biden approved Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' request for a presidential major disaster declaration, expediting the delivery of federal aid to the state.

The announcement of Biden's trip came three days after the storm made landfall near Port Fourchon, La., with winds of 150 mph. The powerful Category 4 hurricane brought damaging winds and inundated parts of the state with storm surge and flooding.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 1 million customers in Louisiana and 31,000 in Mississippi were without power due to the storm, according to PowerOutage.us.

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Entergy, which provides power to much of New Orleans, said it restored power to a power plant and transmission lines connected to New Orleans on Tuesday night. That restored power to some 11,500 customers, including the Veterans Administration hospital and the New Orleans Fire Department, Nola.com reported.

The city implemented a curfew to prevent crime amid the storm recovery.

Deanna Rodriguez, CEO of Entergy New Orleans, told the news outlet she couldn't provide an estimate for when a majority of the city would have power again.

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"It's increasing steadily," she said.

CNN reported that officials in St. Charles Parish warned residents they could be without power for at least a month.

The death toll from Ida, meanwhile, rose to six Wednesday morning. Pike Electric confirmed to NBC News that two of their workers in Alabama were repairing power grid damage when they died Tuesday morning in Jefferson County.

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