US President Joe Biden said on Thursday (29) that Hurricane Ian “may be the deadliest in Florida’s history”, although he did not disclose casualty numbers because “are not yet clear”.
However, he said he had received information that it was possible that “a substantial loss of life had occurred”.
Biden spoke during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters to update himself on efforts against the hurricane, which made landfall on Wednesday and continued to advance across Florida on Thursday.
The president spoke by phone with the state governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, to offer him “the maximum federal support.”
Later, in statements to journalists, Biden revealed his intention to visit Florida and Puerto Rico, although he did not specify a date, and stressed that if DeSantis, an outspoken critic of the president, is available, he would will disagree with him.
During his speech at FEMA, the president highlighted that 1,000 members of this federal agency were deployed to Florida, where millions of liters of water, food and hundreds of generators were sent.
He stated that the federal government will cover “100%” of the cost of cleaning up all the debris left by the hurricane in its wake, as well as the rescue efforts to save lives. . And it will bear most of the cost of rebuilding public buildings, such as schools and fire stations, and providing financial assistance for people who lost property.
Hurricane Ian’s passage through Florida left a trail of destruction, especially in the southwest and center of the state, where there are more than 2.5 million people without electricity, thousands are still trapped in their flooded homes, some roads are impassable and authorities speak of two possible deaths.