President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Florida on Saturday to survey the damage wrought by Hurricane Idalia and the state, local, and federal response to it.
The Bidens met with Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state and local officials in Live Oak, a town in the Big Bend region of Florida that was one of the hardest hit by the storm. They also visited a FEMA disaster recovery center and spoke with residents who had been affected by the storm.
President Biden said that he was “heartbroken” by the devastation caused by Hurricane Idalia and pledged that the federal government would do everything it could to help Florida recover. He also called on Congress to pass a supplemental disaster relief bill to help states like Florida rebuild.
“We’re going to be here for you,” President Biden said. “We’re going to get you through this.”
The Bidens’ visit comes as Florida is still recovering from Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall on August 29 as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm caused widespread damage, leaving thousands of people without power and destroying homes and businesses.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than $1 billion in disaster relief for Florida, and the Biden administration has said that it is committed to providing more assistance as needed.
President Biden’s visit to Florida is a sign of the importance that he places on helping states recover from natural disasters. He has made disaster relief a top priority of his administration, and he has pledged to work with Congress to pass a comprehensive disaster relief bill.
The Bidens’ visit was also a chance for them to see firsthand the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia and to meet with the people who have been affected by the storm. Their visit is a reminder of the importance of federal support for states that are recovering from natural disasters.