US President Barack Obama travelled Monday to Louisiana to observe first hand the extensive damage from Hurricane Isaac and examine the federal aid that has been deployed to help with the storm recovery, dpa reported.
He met with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal after a day of campaigning for re-election in the swing state Ohio. The two headed off to the hard-hit parish of St John the Baptist, outside of New Orleans.
Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are still under high water, and about 100,000 customers were still without electricty in the sweltering heat, Entergy power company said online. St John Parish was among the areas evacuated last week as Hurricane Isaac came ashore and dumped up to 50 centimetres of rain on the Gulf Coast region. Half of the parish is still without electricity, and many buildings are damaged.
Isaac largely spared New Orleans, whose protective levees have been improved since Hurricane Katrina killed 1,800 people in 2005. But Lake Ponchartrain, which flooded much of New Orleans in 2005, again started overflowing, prompting the St John's evacuation.
Isaac has claimed eight lives, according to CNN, including at least one 90-year-old man who died of heat exhaustion in his apartment near New Orleans.
On the plane ride to Louisiana, Obama's spokesperson Jay Carney noted that "disasters are apolitical." Obama's Republican rival for the White House in November, Mitt Romney, visited the storm-hit region on Friday.
Carney noted however that Romney's running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, last year led the Republicans' effort to "underfund" federal support for disaster relief for Americans.