President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are set to travel to Florida this Wednesday to survey the damage and ensuing recovery efforts caused by Hurricane Ian.
The White House has not yet disclosed details on the Bidens’ trip to Florida, including where they plan to visit. Before their stop in Florida, the pair will be visiting Puerto Rico on Monday after Hurricane Fiona slammed the island as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 18.
The hurricane became the fifth-most powerful to ever hit the U.S. after leveling areas in Fort Myers and Sarasota, leaving nearly 2.7 million people without power.
The hurricane has so far claimed 54 lives: 47 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. Search and rescue efforts are underway. As of Saturday morning, over 3,500 people and nearly 140 pets have been rescued by U. S. Coast Guard, federal, state and local search and rescue teams. The number of Federal teams supporting search and rescue operations has doubled.
On Thursday, Biden declared Hurricane Ian a major disaster and agreed the federal government will cover 100% of debris removal and emergency protective measures for the next 30 days in the state.
And, a new round of disaster declarations made Saturday evening adds Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties to the list of counties now eligible to receive assistance from FEMA.