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September 4th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

New Orleans Mayor Landrieu: Floodgates worked to hold off Isaac, Congress needs to 'get off the dime' and invest in US infrastructure

President Obama Continues his road to Charlotte tour today with a campaign stop in Virginia. Yesterday, he visited the New Orleans area to see some of the damage that was done by hurricane Isaac.

Most of the city's residents have regained power since that category 1 storm hit last week. More than 2,000 people, though, are still in shelters, because of flooding across coastal Louisiana. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu met with the president Monday, and he explains updates Soledad on "Starting Point" on the latest in the cleanup efforts.

"First of all, 97% of the power is restored, and we expect to get the other 3% up really, really soon," Mayor Landrieu says. "In New Orleans proper, we're doing fine. I think the big story is, number one, President Obama's team has really been fantastic. The White House has been involved from day one. Secretary Napolitano has been on it, Craig Fugate. And the cooperation between the federal state and the local agencies have been really good this time. And the levees held, which is the big story, I think, nationally. The floodgates held as they were designed. And that's been a good part of the story."

Landrieu did say there was some unexpected flooding in Plaquemines Parish ant St. John the Baptist Parish, but he says "every one of these storms brings something that you didn't expect."

Landrieu also says funding infrastructure projects and response efforts is critical to recovering from these kinds of weather events.

"We should never leave anybody behind in a storm or any catastrophic event, no matter where it is in the country. And so, it's really important that emergency funding is there all of the time. And that you don't have to go back into Congress to get appropriations during the middle of storms or in the middle of catastrophic events. That's a bad idea. But the bigger point here is whether or not Congress is going to spend the money necessary to build the infrastructure that protects these areas since you don't have an emergency," Mayor Landrieu says.

"Our request to Congress is to get off the dime and to invest and make America strong again so that we can protect ourselves," he says.

Filed under: Infrastructure • Isaac