Obama defends Louisiana flood response


BATON ROUGE, United States: After a much-criticized delay, President Barack Obama visited flood-stricken Louisiana on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), defending his administration’s response and urging citizens to pitch in and help ravaged communities. Obama — decked out in hiking boots and with shirt sleeves rolled up — touched down in Baton Rouge and toured a hard-hit and debris-strewn parish, promising Louisianans they would get all the help they need. At least 13 people have died and more than 100,000 people have registered for US government emergency assistance as a result of the flooding. The National Guard has been deployed and the federal government has approved more than $120 million in assistance for temporary rent, home repairs and flood insurance payments. “I am asking every American to do what you can to help get families and local businesses back on their feet,” Obama said, directing people to the website volunteerlouisiana.gov and aid groups like the Red Cross. “These are some good people down here,” he said. “They shouldn’t have to do it alone.” Obama has been lampooned for not cutting short a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to visit the Gulf Coast state.



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