Biden and DeSantis talk hurricane response in Thursday call

President Biden spoke Thursday morning with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as Hurricane Ian passed through the state, leaving millions of people without power.

Thursday’s call was the second of the week between Biden and DeSantis, political rivals who have taken a break from trading barbs to collaborate on the storm response.

“The President told the Governor he is sending his FEMA Administrator to Florida tomorrow to check in on response efforts and see where additional support is needed. The President and Governor committed to continued close coordination,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Hurricane Ian made landfall this week as a Category 4 storm, bringing rain and punishing winds that flooded cities, knocked out power and stranded thousands of people across the state.

DeSantis in a briefing on Thursday morning told reporters Lee and Charlotte counties were knocked off the power grid and would require rebuilt infrastructure.

“The amount of water that’s been rising…is basically a 500-year flood event,” DeSantis said.

Biden overnight Thursday signed a major disaster declaration to free up additional federal resources for the response, “and ordered his team to mobilize additional Federal resources to help the people of Florida recover from Hurricane Ian, including through assistance for temporary housing and home repairs,” Jean-Pierre said.