The President And First Lady Will Visit Puerto Rico On Monday, Florida On Wednesday


President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden will travel to devastated areas this week as the United States reels from the death, dangerous floods, and destruction left in Hurricane Ian’s wake.

The White House announced late Saturday that the Bidens would visit Puerto Rico on Monday and Florida on Wednesday.

At least 73 storm-related deaths have been confirmed in Florida since Hurricane Ian slammed into the state last week with 150 mph winds, according to a tally by state officials.

Since downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory late Saturday that the storm was dissipating across southern Virginia. Still, it left flooding and power outages across the Carolinas, too, as the extent of the damage came into view. At least four people have also died in North Carolina. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Saturday.

With rescue efforts ongoing and the floodwater receding in places littered with wrecked homes, local officials warned that the death and destruction left by Ian might only just be coming into view.

Puerto Rico is still grappling with the fallout from Hurricane Fiona, which has resulted in 25 fatalities since it hit the U.S. territory last month, according to the island’s health department.

No further details of the trip were announced, but Biden mentioned his concern for the areas pummeled by the storms at a Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner on Saturday night.

“Our hearts … are heavy, the devastating hurricanes, storms in Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. And we owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they’ve already gotten,” Biden said.