- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Not even the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy could pry President Obama away from the golf course Wednesday.

With 11 people dead and 40,000 homes damaged by floods in Louisiana, Mr. Obama did speak with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate Wednesday from his vacation spot in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The White House said Mr. Fugate “briefed the president on the resources that have been provided to support the response and recovery.” Mr. Obama directed FEMA to use “all resources available” to help in the recovery.

But there were no changes in travel plans announced for the president, who is scheduled to stay on the island until Sunday.

Instead, Mr. Obama headed out later Wednesday to play more golf, his eighth round on the links since arriving on the island on Aug. 6.

The White House said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit the flood zone in Louisiana on Thursday to review the government’s response.


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A White House spokeswoman said Mr. Obama has received a series of updates on the flooding while on vacation, and spoke earlier in the week to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, when he approved a major-disaster declaration for affected parishes.

About 1,000 Red Cross volunteers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have arrived in Louisiana to provide help.

At least 11 people have been killed, some 40,000 homes damaged, and 30,000 people rescued in what officials have described as some of the worst flooding ever to hit the state.

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