‘This state rebuilds fast’: Trump surveys hurricane damage in Louisiana

Donald Trump has visited a city badly hit by Hurricane Laura, surveying widespread damage and receiving briefings on relief efforts.

His trip to Lake Charles came just two days after the category four storm ravaged the Gulf Coast, particularly Louisiana and Texas.

At least 16 people were killed, more than half due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the unsafe operation of generators.

U.S. President Donald Trump accompanied by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Pete Gaynor are seen during a visit to areas damaged by Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
Image:Donald Trump visited ravaged neighbourhoods in Lake Charles

Ahead of the storm making landfall more than half a million people were ordered to leave their homes near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

A storm surge as high as 15 feet (4.5m) drowned buildings and pushed over trees in states as far north as Arkansas, forcing hundreds of thousands of coastal residents to evacuate despite ongoing coronavirus lockdown measures.

Tall buildings in Lake Charles had their windows smashed by Hurricane Laura’s 150mph (240kmph) winds, which left glass and debris scattered across the city.

Hurricane Laura's flood devastation seen from above
Image:Hurricane Laura’s flood devastation seen from above

A 68-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl were among at least four people killed by trees falling on top of their homes, officials said.

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Hundreds of thousand of people in the state currently have no access to power or water, which could continue for months as the hot summer stretches on in the southern states.

Homes in Louisiana were flattened by the hurricane
Image:Homes in Louisiana were flattened by the hurricane

“I’m here to support the great people of Louisiana,” Trump said in a press conference in Lake Charles, adding: “It was a tremendously powerful storm.”

He said he knew one thing about the state of Louisiana: “They rebuild it fast.”

US President Donald Trump poses with National Guard troops in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on August 29, 2020. Trump surveyed damage in the area caused by Hurricane Laura. - At least 15 people were killed after Laura slammed into the southern US states of Louisiana and Texas, authorities and local media said on August 28. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:The president posed with National Guard troops in the city

The president spent just over two hours in the city, during which time he met local and state officials as well as relief workers, but not with any residents whose homes and businesses had been ripped apart by the storm.

The president is due to visit the city of Orange in Texas next, located on the border with Louisiana.

Mr Trump also said he will likely visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, where a white police officer shot a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back.

When asked if he would make the trip, he replied: “probably so”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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