'I promise we’re going to have your back': Joe Biden lands in Louisiana after hurricane devastation

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports the damage caused by Ida, some of which is still buried under water

President Joe Biden is in Louisiana for the first time since the state was battered by Hurricane Ida - and promises residents he will "have your back."

Ida was the fifth-most powerful storm to strike the US when it hit Louisiana on Sunday with winds of up to 150 mph, since killing at least 13 in the Gulf Coast region and at least 58 in the north-east.

Louisiana has been one of the worst-affected by the hurricane, with New Orleans, its biggest city, left without power that officials say will be restored by Wednesday.

On Thursday, the president pledged federal help for the states impacted and said he will press to pass his near $1 trillion infrastructure bill to improve roads, bridges and electric grids.

The path to nearby LaPlace, where Mr Biden was to be briefed by local officials, was dotted with wood poles that held power lines jutting from the ground at odd angles.

“I promise we’re going to have your back,” Mr Biden said at the outset of the briefing.

Damaged power lines in Louisiana. Credit: AP

At least 13 deaths were blamed on the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including three nursing home residents.

Several deaths in the aftermath of the storm were blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning, which can happen if generators are run improperly.

Around 850,000 people in Louisiana, including much of New Orleans, remained without power, down from the peak of around 1.1 million five days ago.

Tens of thousands still have no drinking water in the midst of a hot stretch of summer.

A couple carry a door from their destroyed barn in Lousiana. Credit: AP

In shirtsleeves and boots, Mr Biden was welcomed at the airport by Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. Several Republicans, including Sen Bill Cassidy and Rep Steve Scalise, the House Republican whip, were also on hand.

Mr Biden was meeting with with local officials and touring a neighbourhood in LaPlace, a community between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that suffered catastrophic wind and water damage and was left with sheared-off roofs and flooded homes.

He also planned a flyover tour of hard-hit communities including Lafitte, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish, where Parish President Archie Chaisson said 25% of the homes in his community of 100,000 people were gone or had catastrophic damage.

Damage from Hurricane Ida Credit: Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP

Floodwaters still fill some communities, and lines for petrol stretched back streets in many places from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, the state capital.

Mr Edwards said more than 220,000 people have already registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Another 22,000 have applied for a federal program to place tarpaulin on damaged roofs.

Roughly 72,000 “blue roofs” — tarpaulin to protect homes with damaged roofs — may be needed across Louisiana, federal officials said.