Joe Biden began surveying the storm’s aftermath in Florida by helicopter as the state continues recovery efforts a week after Hurricane Jan went on land.

The president is scheduled to meet with Fort Myers residents, small business owners and emergency workers along with Ron DeSantis, the right-wing governor of Florida who is being touted as a potential contender in the 2024 election.

At least 84 people have been confirmed dead, although the death toll is unofficial more than 100 and still strengthening, nearly 400,000 homes and businesses remain without power in Florida after the hurricane slammed into the state with 150 mph (240 km/h) winds and a strong storm surge.

Biden visits an area devastated by winds and tides. Huge yachts and other boats were overturned and overturned inland, far from their usual moorings. Homes and businesses in Fort Myers’ Fisherman’s Wharf lay in ruins amid a landscape of dirt and debris.

The White House announced Wednesday that the federal government will double the amount of time it takes for the federal government to cover the full cost of cleaning up trash, distributing food and water, and supporting shelters.

“It’s catastrophic,” said Deanna Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). explained to reporters on Air Force One. “There are still many houses under water. We want to encourage people to pick up their litter faster, but we know it will take them a long time to get there.

“And so 60 days just seemed reasonable because it would take them a long time to just get into their homes and start that process.”

DeSantis welcomed the decision at a news conference in Matlacha, near Fort Myers. Praising the White House and FEMA, the governor noted that “we were held back by less red tape than any other” recent disaster.

Hurricane response is a common ordeal Florida governor and their ability to coordinate with the federal government, as former incumbents Jeb Bush and Rick Scott can attest.

DeSantis, a Republican, appeared to have made a temporary truce with Democrat Biden, saying last week that he was “grateful” for the administration’s help and that “we all have to work together, regardless of party lines.” Biden called their relationship “absurd” but “very good.”

But the two routinely clash over many issues, including the climate crisis, which experts blame for Florida’s increasingly powerful hurricanes.

Biden oversaw passage of a landmark $430 billion climate bill, the largest in history, while DeSantis, while supporting funding to strengthen Florida’s flood defenses, opposed some early disaster relief and pushed pension funds not to consider environmental impact when investing.

DeSantis also gained national profile by waiving the coronavirus lockdown, walt disney’s punishment Orlando World Resort for opposing state laws restricting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools, and flying Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

And in an conservative media interview on Tuesday, DeSantis said the “national media” was rooting for Hurricane Ian to hit the Tampa Bay area “because they thought it was going to be worse for Florida.”

He told Voice of Florida: “This is how these people think. They do not care about the people of this state, they do not care about the people of this community. They want to use the storms and the destruction from the storms as a way to promote their agenda. If they can use it to further their political agenda, they will.”

Most opinion polls have DeSantis trailing only former President Donald Trump as the Republican front-runner for the 2024 nomination. At 44, he is three decades younger than Trump and Biden.

Biden will also be joined on Wednesday by Republican senators Marco Rubio and Scott, the former governor, both of whom have been vocal critics of his administration. White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre said the visit would be “above politics.”

Biden on Monday visited Puerto Ricothe US territory that was hit by Hurricane Fiona last month.