LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -It was March 23, 2006—the eve of the six month anniversary of Hurricane Rita. Then Senator Joe Biden had come to see the devastation.
“That thing looks like a bazooka,” he says, about the camera pointed at him, as he steps off a Black Hawk helicopter. He was in Cameron to tour hurricane stricken areas. Former Senator Mary Landrieu led the way.
Biden listened as Cameron officials described their frustrations with insurance and FEMA. “To tell you the truth, it’s hard to picture unless you come and see it. Here, you have an entire community --everything about the community has just been uprooted,” he said.
Landrieu called Biden a strong supporter of rebuilding Southwest Louisiana. “I’m committed to help Senator Landrieu do everything she needs to get done down here including dealing with the FEMA regulations that are prohibiting the rational reconstruction of this community,” said Biden.
And, on his 2006 visit, Biden visited a senior living facility.
Dinah Landry with the Cameron Council on Aging remembers he seemed caring and concerned.
“He was very friendly, very nice. The seniors all got to shake his hand and talk with him. We were just so excited to have somebody as special as him,” said Landry.
And now, 15 years later, she hopes he will be a president who takes care of seniors.
“We’re hoping they remember our seniors and there are no drastic cuts to Medicare or Medicaid or any other program,” she said.
Biden also visited SWLA in January of 2010 while he was vice president. Retired State Police Commander Mike Leonards says Biden visited a facility in Cameron and that Biden’s secret service agent contacted him after finding out about the death of Trooper Duane Dalton, killed in the line of duty.
Leonards says Biden met with the family of Trooper Dalton at the regional airport.
“I do remember him as very compassionate and caring for his family and very empathetic,” said Leonards.