President Biden arrives in Florida to survey Idalia’s damage; Here’s what he said

LIVE OAK, Fla. — A few days after Hurricane Idalia, debris is everywhere, and large trees are on top of roofs and blocking intersections.


President Biden’s visit comes as leaders expect the recovery effort to last weeks.

Biden will start his week in Live Oak, touring the damage left behind by Hurricane Idalia and meeting with homeowners and first responders.

He promised them the full support of the federal government.

Read: No power and nowhere to stay as rural Florida starts recovering from Hurricane Idalia

Bruce Lawson was one of the many homeowners returning to find a large tree through his roof.

He considers himself lucky as it only hit the carport.

But eight of his 40 rental properties need emergency repairs.

“Everybody’s doing what they can,” he said.” You can only assess what’s going on once it’s happened.”

Video: DeSantis won’t meet with Biden during president’s trip to survey Idalia damage

Like many in Live Oak, Lawson said the government’s response has been quick and effective despite the heavy toll all over the city.

Most neighborhoods still have streets blocked by power lines and trees.

Electricity is scarce.

Betty Baker experienced that efficiency while waiting with one thousand others for food, water, and ice handed out by volunteers.

Read: Tropical Storm Katia develops, expected to stay out in the Atlantic

The wait time was 20 minutes.

“They say we may get it in two or three weeks,” she said.

Florida senator Rick Scott stopped by before meeting with the president to thank the team for their efforts.

“State, federal, and local, there are people working hard,” Scott said. “I want to make sure we get the federal response-- One thing I’m going to talk to the president today is passing a bill to fully fund FEMA.”

Read: Quiet weather pattern for this Saturday evening

Biden spent several hours in the air and on the ground Saturday.

He said FEMA would be in the community as long as it takes.

Scott told Channel 9 his bill would inject 16 billion dollars into FEMA to handle this cleanup, including those in California and Hawaii.

It would also shore up struggling farmers in affected areas.

Read: Here to help: Local deputies send recovery teams to support Hurricane Idalia victims

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