Hurricane Ida, the dangerous Category 4 storm that made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on Sunday, could very well replace Hurricane Katrina as the new standard in measuring hurricane damage.
According to breaking reports from Fox News, the storm has wreaked havoc across Louisiana. While the storm roaring ashore is scary enough, the real danger lies ahead in the aftermath, which presents tremendous political consequences for President Joe Biden and his administration.
What’s the latest?
At the time of this writing, emergency crews are just now getting a preliminary look at the damage caused by Ida as the day begins, however, there are reportedly many areas of the state that crews simply cannot reach at the current time.
Numerous rescue crews are using boats and helicopters to begin what will undoubtedly be a monumental effort — like what was witnessed during Katrina — to rescue natives who stayed behind and attempted to ride out the dangerous tropical storm.
Videos and photos of the initial damage assessments were pouring in on Monday morning across social media, though it’s believed that the areas of the state with the most devastating damage are yet to be reached.
— Cali Hubbard (@CaliHubbard) August 30, 2021
“The Louisiana National Guard reported it had activated 4,900 Guard personnel and lined up 195 high-water vehicles, 73 rescue boats and 34 helicopters,” Fox News noted.
Multiple media outlets, including Bloomberg, were already addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room, which is the idea that Biden, who is already facing a foreign policy disaster of epic proportions in Afghanistan, has to somehow pivot and manage the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Former President George W. Bush was widely criticized for his administration’s response to Katrina, and given the state of Biden’s plummeting polling numbers, a failure to execute nothing less than a flawless response to Ida could further damage his reputation beyond repair.
“Hurricanes are perhaps the sternest test of basic government competency. And it may be days before we see the fullness of Ida’s wrath. After America’s humbling in Afghanistan, Biden’s next challenge comes at home,” Bloomberg’s Derek Wallbank wrote.
According to an official statement from Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), Biden signed off on a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the state, which will allow federal resources to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts that will undoubtedly last for weeks, or longer.
Given Biden’s tendency to “hide” from the press during major issues or events, an entire nation will be watching to see just how involved Biden will, or won’t, be in the state as it struggles to return to normalcy.