President Joe Biden said Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history during a speech at the FEMA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Thursday, September 29.
Biden said the numbers are still unclear but made reference to early reports of “substantial loss of life” and urged people in Ian’s path to “obey” directions and warnings from officials.
Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, September 28, and the Orlando Sentinel reported at least six people died in the storm.
Biden also reinstated the government’s commitment to supporting recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Ian made landfall before hitting Florida.
On September 29, Biden approved a disaster declaration in response to the storm and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by storm Ian.
“My message to the people of Florida and to the country: At times like this, America comes together. We’re going to pull together as one team, as one America,” Biden said.
The president said he would visit Florida to meet with and thank first responders “when the conditions allow.”
The deadliest known Florida storm to date was 1928’s Okeechobee hurricane, in which an estimated 2,500 state residents were killed. Credit: The White House via Storyful