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Obama ‘Heartbroken’ on First Visit to Louisiana Since Floods

President Obama Departs White House For LouisianaPresident Obama Departs White House For Louisiana
President Barack Obama walks out of the White House before traveling to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama toured the flood-ravaged city of Baton Rouge on Tuesday, expressing sympathy for how the residents of Louisiana have had their lives “upended” by the historic floods.

More than 2 feet of rain has been dumped on parts of the state, and 17 people have died. More than 7,000 people have been forced into homeless shelters, according to The New York Times, and other news reports have said that some 60,000 homes were damaged, with roughly 100,000 households seeking assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Obama met with state officials to review the federal government’s response to the disaster.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of life,” Obama said.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence toured Baton Rouge on Friday, and Trump blasted Obama for vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, rather than coming to the flood-ravaged state. Louisiana’s governor John Bel Edwards, who is a Democrat, had said that managing the logistics of Obama’s visit last week would be a burden on the city. Local and state officials from both political parties have praised the FEMA’s response to the historic floods, saying it was in sharp contrast to FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2004.