In footage circulated on social media, the president signed autographs for officials at a Lake Charles fire station, where he was briefed about conditions in the city following Hurricane Laura. While the storm surge has receded and the cleanup effort has begun, hundreds of thousands remain without power or water, and they could for weeks or months as the hot summer stretches on.
During the slightly more than two hours he spent in the city, Trump met with officials and relief workers but not with any of the residents whose homes had been ripped apart in the storm.
National Guard troops cleared debris from roads in Lake Charles on Thursday afternoon. Trump deplaned wearing a red had that said "USA" on the front, and "TRUMP" on the back. The governor responded that about 50% did. Sasol had temporarily shut down facilities at Lake Charles in Louisiana and Greens Bayou and Winnie in Texas in preparation for the hurricane. "I love the people", Trump said.
He said he knew one thing about the state of Louisiana: "They rebuild it fast". "And we'll supply what we have to supply".
Mr. Trump said Saturday while in Texas that FEMA would deliver 400,000 liters of water and 200,000 meals.
Trump noted that many residents were without power and therefore also without air conditioning, with temperatures and humidity climbing.
After the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers applauded almost 20,000 line workers Friday for joining power restoration efforts in hurricane-damaged areas, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted, "Times of crisis often bring out our best as Americans - and we're seeing that right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura".
"This is a tremendously strong storm", said Trump. "In fact, when it came in it was actually much bigger than Katrina, I would say". Hurricane Katrina hit 15 years ago as a Category Three storm, devastating New Orleans and killing over 1,800 people.
At least 16 have died amid the carnage of Hurricane Laura which has been wreaking havoc with severe winds and flooding. The storm killed 1,836 people, left millions homeless and caused an estimated $160 billion in damage.
Louisiana lawmakers accompanying Trump included Senator John Kennedy and Representatives Clay Higgins, Steve Scalise and Garret Graves, all Republicans.