Under-fire Obama finally visits flood-hit Louisiana
FRESH from a two-week holiday, United States President Barack Obama visited flood-hit Louisiana yesterday, hoping to offer support to devastated communities and silence his critics.
Mr Obama has been lampooned for not cutting short his Martha’s Vineyard holiday to visit the Gulf Coast state, where heavy rains have submerged thousands of homes.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited flood-struck communities last week and goaded the president about his absence.
“Honestly, Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there,” Mr Trump said.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest defended the White House’s response as “effective” and bristled when asked if Mr Obama’s visit was prompted by Mr Trump: “Of course not,” he said.
“What the president’s been focused on is the response on the ground and the people whose lives in Louisiana have been turned upsidedown by this terrible flooding event,” Mr Earnest added.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that up to 79 centimetres of rain fell on some parts of the low-laying state – where the highest point is just 165 metres above sea level.
Some 13 people have died and 86,000 have registered for government emergency assistance. –
Wanda Sittig wades through floodwaters around her father’s home as she helps salvage what she can in St Amant, Louisiana, on August 20.