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Biden, first lady to visit Florida and Puerto Rico to survey storm damage this week

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Puerto Rico and Florida this week to survey damage from the two recent hurricanes, the White House announced late Saturday. ​​

The Bidens are planning to head to Puerto Rico on Monday, two weeks after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the island as a category 1 storm and where many of the residents still face widespread power outages and water shortages. ​

Then, the president and first lady will head to Florida on Wednesday. ​​Rescue efforts are underway ​in the Sunshine State in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian that hit the Gulf Coast last week as a category 4 storm, packing sustained winds of up to 150 mph.

Ian caused catastrophic damage across a large swath of Florida and killed scores before exiting into the Atlantic and then heading up the coast before making landfall again in South Carolina as a downgraded post-tropical storm.

The White House said additional details about the visit would be released later.

But the president, speaking at a Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner on Saturday, addressed the damage caused by Fiona and Ian.

“Our hearts … are heavy, the devastating hurricanes, storms in Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. And we owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they’ve already gotten,” he said.

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