Less than 24 hours after accepting his party's nomination for president, Mitt Romney announced he would be detouring from his planned campaign schedule to visit areas of southern Louisiana hit by this week's hurricane.
Romney will visit the small town of Lafitte, about 30 miles south of New Orleans in Jefferson Parish. The newly-minted Republican presidential nominee will join Gov. Bobby Jindal as he meets with first responders and views damage of the storm.
At noon on Friday, the Obama administration announced the president would visit flood-affected areas of Louisiana on Monday, September 3.
The coastal town of Lafitte, which boasts only 1,500 residents, was among the hardest hit when Hurricane Isaac passed through on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Wednesday.
Overall, around 800,000 residents in the south of the state lost power and two deaths were reported. Massive flooding took place in residential areas near the coast, but New Orleans was largely saved by federal levees put in place after Katrina in 2005.
Since Wednesday, Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical depression and currently hovers over Mulberry, Arkansas, a small town about 25 miles northeast of Fort Smith.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flooding and heavy rainfall warning for the middle Mississippi River Valley on Friday. Rain is expected to continue in the valley through the weekend before the storm shifts to the Appalachians early next week.
Departing Tampa, Florida, where the GOP convention ended last night, Romney told supporters he and running mate Paul Ryan "understand how the economy works, we understand how Washington works. We will reach across the aisle and find good people who like us, want to make sure this country deals with its challenges. We'll get America on track again."
Ryan, meanwhile, is en route to a pre-planned campaign stop in the swing state of Virginia. Before leaving on Friday morning, the Wisconsin congressman asked for people to keep the victims of Hurricane Isaac and this morning's earthquake in the Philippines in their thoughts and prayers.
The Louisiana trip will be the first for Romney on his new campaign plane, emblazoned with the words "Believe in America." From there, Romney will resume his regular campaigning schedule with a stop in Ohio.
by RTT Staff Writer
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