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Cedric Richmond says White House getting the aid out for Ida

Louisiana native and White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond provided an update on the federal response to Ida.

WASHINGTON — With President Biden set to visit Louisiana on Friday to tour the damage from Hurricane Ida, there are many questions about the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Frustration across the state is building as food and water are in short supply and there are long lines at gas stations.

To answer some of the questions about federal assistance, WWL spoke with White House Senior Advisor and Louisiana native Cedric Richmond. 

"We had over 4.4 million meals staged, 3.6 million liters of water staged. We had ice staged. The fact that there's a need, we're getting it done," Richmond said assuringly. 

Richmond says the White House is concerned about the power situation in the state, adding that President Biden has spoken personally with the CEO of Entergy to offer assistance as well as to push the company to get power restored. 

"We're not waiting to do things," Richmond added. "President Biden is calling out insurance companies that are denying temporary housing assistance because it wasn't a mandatory evacuation. He's saying 'it's an obligation, don't hide behind a technicality.'

Richmond also noted that as the White House continues to push its infrastructure bill through Congress, an important aspect of it is coming into play right now in Louisiana with the massive failure of an electrical grid with eight downed transmission lines.

"We want to make sure we are providing funds that harden that infrastructure so one, it can survive natural disasters, but two, it can survive cyberattacks," Richmond stated. "We know these things are going to happen, but we have to be prepared for it."