“What I want the people of Louisiana to know is that you’re not alone on this. Even after the TV cameras leave, the whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we can get people back into their homes and lives are rebuilt.” —President Obama speaking in Baton Rouge amid response and recovery efforts to the devastating flooding across the state. Learn more and find out how you can help.

Trump Goes Bats**t Crazy As Obama Receives Hero’s Welcome In Flooded Louisiana (VIDEO/TWEETS)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump saw flood ravaged Louisiana not for the tragedy that it is, but as an opportunity to score politically at the expense of the thousands of people who’ve been affected by the horrendous flooding. Despite the fact that he was encouraged to stay away from the state, he showed up in photo-ops designed to highlight that he cares about average Americans. He also used the tragedy to go after President Obama, who was on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, accusing him of not caring about the flood ravaged state and its people and then going into a hissy fit as the president made his way to the state. Here’s what he tweeted:

“President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing. Too little, too late!”

However, the president was constantly updated on the situation and worked from Martha’s Vineyard in tandem with officials in Louisiana. He also stayed away for a very important reason: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said he had no problem with the president’s decision to stay away from the state given all the resources required for a presidential visit, which would limit first responders and put a strain on law enforcement officials, as well as force road closures for a presidential motorcade. Here’s what White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest had to say:

“I think the president is used to people trying to score political points even in situations where they shouldn’t. The president certainly believes this is the kind of situation where…we’re talking about lives lost. We’re talking about a community being upended. And [he believes] that it’s an appropriate time to put politics aside, and actually focus on our responsibilities as Americans.”

Twitter also unleashed on Trump for his silliness:

Trying to cash in politically on a national tragedy simply proves that Donald Trump can’t empathize with anyone but himself. Instead of showing up, he should have simply made a statement of solidarity and offered resources to help people in the wake of the tragedy. Trump continues to give America important clues on why he shouldn’t be president while Obama is greeted with enthusiasm as he arrived to assist the people of Louisiana.

Widespread Flooding in Louisiana

The widespread flooding in Louisiana has been called the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It has affected many homes and businesses.  The National Archives posts records emergency information and other useful guidance to help in saving documents, photographs and other items that may have been affected by the flooding.  

For advice and assistance on records response and recovery  after flooding, please refer to the preservation section of our website, where you will find several useful sections about records recovery processes.

Water damage alone can cause major records recovery issues but often floodwaters contain a variety of contaminants as well. The web page also includes information about contracting for records recovery services and a list of records recovery vendors. This list of vendors is provided by NARA for informational purposes. Inclusion on the list should not be viewed as an endorsement of the quality of the vendor’s services.  

NARA staff members are available to provide additional information and guidance.

For advice on records recovery issues, please contact the Preservation Programs Division at preservation@nara.gov. Preservation staff monitors the email address and will respond accordingly.

The image shows moldy documents found in New Orleans after the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. They were later dried and cleaned.

Why does it matter if the Louisiana flooding goes viral?

If tens of thousands of Americans were displaced by a once-in-a-millennium storm, you’d know about it, right?

Not necessarily. The flooding around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy, but it’s barely made the front page, overshadowed by the Olympics and Donald Trump’s latest antics. Nor have the political leaders of either party seen fit to speak about the disaster. President Obama remains on vacation, and both major party nominees for president have largely ignored Louisiana’s plight.

The silence has been so deafening that it itself has become the story, with an increasing number of think pieces, ranging from angry to ruminative, asking why we aren’t talking more about the floods. The floods aren’t news, but our indifference is.

But what does the indifference signify? Not that the disaster is actually being ignored by those who can make a difference, that’s for sure. South Louisiana’s residents have actually done a spectacular job of responding to the crisis. The “little platoons” have deployed themselves, just as Edmund Burke said they would. As well, national organizations like the Red Cross and federal agencies like FEMA have mobilized promptly, and have promised the resources necessary to respond and recover. The “system,” so far, is working.

If the purpose of the news is to inform, then the news has done an adequate if not spectacular job. Broadcast media have reported that the floods are happening, and plenty of additional information is available online. NPR has covered the story with reasonable thoroughness. If you want to be informed, you will be. Meanwhile, if the purpose of the news is to mobilize a response, then again it’s hard to fault the news, since the response has been swift and appropriate.

Another major function of the media is to expose the truth. But the Louisiana floods are not a scandal. This is not a story about foolish construction in a flood plain, nor a story about an incompetent government response to catastrophe. There’s no cover-up, neither by the authorities nor by a community that doesn’t want its own dirty laundry aired. There’s no villain in this story — not even a natural one like a tsunami or a hurricane, bearing down on an unsuspecting community like divine wrath.

At the end of the day, the Louisiana floods are a human interest story. Which is undoubtedly why the national indifference hurts. It doesn’t feel good to think that your suffering, your struggles, and your triumph over adversity are boring — especially when everyone seems to agree that a celebrity Twitter war requires ‘round-the-clock coverage.

But if that’s the case, then whose values are to be faulted here? The national media and political class for ignoring the floods? Or people whose own measure of the worth of their suffering and their heroism depends on whether it has gone viral?

(Keep reading.)


Obama visits flood-damaged Baton Rouge

After touring recovery efforts in a flooded Baton Rouge neighborhood Tuesday, Aug. 23, President Obama pledged to help rebuild Louisiana, insisting his visit there “is not a photo-op.”

“I come here first and foremost to say that the prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones. We are heartbroken by the loss of life,” he said during remarks after his tour of the flooding. “There are also still people who are desperately trying to track down friends and family. We are going to keep on helping them every way that we can.”

Obama observed that “people’s lives have been upended by this flood.”

“Sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem too much to bear, but what I want the people of Louisiana to know is that you’re not alone on this,” he said. “Even after the TV cameras leave, the whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we get folks back in their homes and lives are rebuilt.”

The president praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its efforts coordinating a federal response, which he said has already reached $127 million in assistance. (ABC News)

See more images of Obama’s visit to Baton Rouge on Yahoo News

Trump knocks Obama's Louisiana trip: 'Too little, too late'

President Barack Obama’s day trip to tour flood damage in Louisiana is “too little, too late,” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

“President Obama should have gone to Louisiana days ago, instead of golfing,” the Republican presidential nominee wrote. “Too little, too late!”

Obama flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Wednesday to visit a region devastated by heavy rain and flooding earlier this month. In a release issued late last week, the American Red Cross said the flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since superstorm Sandy and that the relief effort will cost at least $30 billion.

Read more here