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Biden mobilizes government support for Florida due to Hurricane Ian: White House

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Volunteers and city employees were scrambling to fill and load sandbags ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian, which US forecasters say is headed for a direct and potentially catastrophic hit on Tampa, Florida./AFP
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Sep 28, 2022 - 12:31 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – President Joe Biden has mobilized the full force of the US government to support residents of the state of Florida as they prepare for Hurricane Ian, White House spokeswoman Jean Karine-Pierre said Tuesday.

“The president underscored his commitment to the people of Florida and made clear that impacted communities will have the full support of the federal government to augment state and local emergency response efforts,” Karine-Pierre told reporters.

She said Biden held calls with mayors Jane Castor of Tampa, Ken Welch of St. Petersburg and Frank Hibbard of Clearwater to discuss preparations for the potential effects of Ian.

The storm is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida as a major hurricane as soon as Thursday morning.

The White House later said in a statement that Biden and the mayors spoke about the potential effects of Ian and the ongoing efforts of federal, state and local governments.

“President Biden said that he has directed FEMA Administrator (Deanne) Criswell to ensure that all available federal support is surged to prepare in advance and to respond in the aftermath of the storm to augment state and local emergency response efforts, and emphasized the importance of encouraging families to heed evacuation orders,” it said.

Biden approved a Florida Emergency Declaration on Saturday to supplement response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the storm.

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