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Obama “Heartbroken” by Louisiana Floods

Obama “Heartbroken” by Louisiana FloodsObama “Heartbroken” by Louisiana Floods

US President Barack Obama has toured the flood-ravaged areas of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he vowed to help residents rebuild in the coming months.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of life,” he said after his tour.

Obama dismissed criticism that he arrived too late and praised state officials for their initial response. The president also met the family of Alton Sterling and the families of the Baton Rouge police officers killed last month, BBC reported.

Sterling, a black man, was killed at the hands of a white police officer in Baton Rouge. His death, along with the police killing of Philando Castile in St Paul, Minnesota, stoked racial tensions and led to protests across the country.

Nearly two weeks later, three officers were shot and killed, and three more were injured in a shooting near the Baton Rouge police headquarters. The gunman, Gavin Long, was shot dead at the scene.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who travelled to Louisiana four days ago, and others criticized Obama for not cutting short his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to visit the devastated areas. But Obama hit back after meeting with flood survivors, urging Americans to stay focused on helping the state.

“Let me just remind folks. Sometimes once the flood waters pass, people’s attention spans pass. This is not a one-off. This is not a photo-op issue,” he said.

Trump fired back on Tuesday, tweeting: “President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!”

The deadly floods, which began on 11 August, have killed at least 13 people and left more than 2,800 people in shelters.

The president declared a major disaster on August 14, allowing the state to access federal resources to assist local officials with the cleanup.

Financialtribune.com