President Donald Trump plans to visit Lake Charles on Saturday to meet with local and state officials and get a firsthand look at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura, the White House said Friday.
The storm, which struck the coast of southwestern Louisiana in the wee hours Thursday, had winds of 150 mph, the strongest winds at landfall of any storm to ever hit the state.
Trump will "survey storm damage and receive briefings on emergency operations and ongoing relief efforts," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere. He is expected to arrive in Lake Charles around noon and meet with Gov. John Bel Edwards and others.
The visit will mark Trump's seventh trip to Louisiana as president. Trump has said he also plans to visit damaged areas of Texas.
Less than a dozen deaths have been attributed to Laura and her aftermath, but the storm left massive damage to homes and water systems. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without power.
Lake Charles, ground zero for the devastation, is a familiar locale for the president. Trump visited in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, another Category 4 storm, slammed into Louisiana and eastern Texas and dumped unprecedented quantities of rain, causing widespread flooding.
Trump traveled to Louisiana four times in 2019, visiting Lake Charles to support then-gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, and making stops in New Orleans, Monroe and Bossier City. On his most recent visit to the state, he came to New Orleans to watch LSU take on Clemson in the College Football Playoff Championship game.
Edwards, a Democrat who gets along with Trump despite the president's efforts to unseat him in 2019, has said welcomes a presidential visit.
"We’re going to need substantial federal assistance going forward, and I think that’s always a good thing having a federal decision-maker on the ground," Edwards said Thursday.
More details to come.