Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Friday, touring flood damage, a source familiar with the plans told CNN.
The mammoth flooding in the area – 6.9 trillion gallons of rain pummeled Louisiana between August 8 and 14 — damaged more than 40,000 homes and killed at least 13 people. More than 70,000 people had registered for individual assistance since the federal disaster was declared, and more than 9,000 had filed flood insurance claims, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office released a statement before the arrival that said Trump had not reached out to inform them of his visit.
“We welcome (Trump) to (Louisiana), but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizeable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm.”
President Barack Obama has been called on by Republicans and some in Louisiana to cut short his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to visit the city. As of Thursday, there were no announced plans for the President to arrive nor was Obama planning to address the flooding in an in-person statement.
“A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero,” read an editorial published in The Advocate on Thursday. “In coming here, the President can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration — and the United States of America.”