WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama will visit flood-hit Louisiana next week, the White House said today, after he came under fire for not suspending his summer vacation to survey the damage in the southern state.
The announcement of Obama's visit to Baton Rouge on August 23 came after a visit to the state earlier today by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence.
The floods have left at least 13 people dead and affected about 40,000 homes.
"The president is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts," the White House said, noting the visit was coordinated with local officials.
"He is also eager to get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods... and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever."
Today, Obama spoke to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson -- who visited Louisiana yesterday -- from his vacation home in Martha's Vineyard to get an update on the situation.