US President Donald Trump toured areas affected by Hurricane Laura in Texas and Louisiana and received briefings on relief efforts and emergency operations, on Saturday. However, the president did not interact with the residents.
Addressing a gathering that also included Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, federal agency officials, and several US lawmakers, Trump said, "One thing I know about this state, it rebuilds fast."
Most Powerful Hurricane to Hit Louisiana
The massive storm hit Louisiana early on Thursday with 150 mile-per-hour (240 kph) winds, damaging buildings, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 650,000 people in Louisiana and Texas. However, Laura's storm surge was much less than predicted.
The Category 4 hurricane killed at least 15 people, including some killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from the unsafe operation of generators. Governor Edwards called Laura the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, surpassing even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005.
Interacting With Officials
Trump told officials, referring to those who were lost, "It's a tremendous number, but you were thinking it could be, could have been, a lot worse." Trump signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana on Friday. He also met with National Guard personnel in Louisiana helping with relief efforts and later flew to Orange, Texas, to meet with officials.
After meeting officials in Lake Charles, Trump said "come here fellas, I want a little power," and began autographing pieces of paper. He gave a law officer one and said "Here sell this tonight on Ebay, you'll get $10,000."
(With inputs from agencies)