Obama to visit Baton Rouge next week

Trump says 'I do regret' some caustic campaign statements

From left, Billy Blazier, Randy Diez Jr. and Tray Blazier check in on Billy's flooded home on August 18, 2016 in Sorrento, Louisiana.

President Barack Obama will visit flood-stricken Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday after outcry that he didn't end his Martha's Vineyard vacation to visit the area.

It said as many as 110,000 homes worth $20.7 billion, - most without flood insurance, were likely damaged in about half of the flooded parishes.

Following his return from the first family's vacation on Martha's Vineyard this week, the president will tour flood-damaged areas in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Trump and Pence also met volunteers and were cheered by the crowd in front of Samaritan's Purse mobile kitchen. Trump then made a jab about Obama's golfing game: "He will never be under par".

Among his stops was the flood-ravaged home of Jimmy and Olive Morgan in Denham Springs, where floodwaters were still being swept up and wheelbarrows carried out waterlogged computer equipment.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, residents emerged from their waterlogged homes to wave at Trump's motorcade, some with gloved hands dirty from their house-gutting work.

"We knew you would be here for us!" another shouted. "Somebody is that shouldn't be".

The flooding in the area - brought on by 6.9 trillion gallons of rain that pummeled Louisiana last week - damaged more than 40,000 homes and killed at least 13 people.

Some 86,500 people have already filed for federal aid following the historic levels of rainfall, while thousands have sought refuge in shelters.

He said he welcomed Trump's visit as long as it wasn't intended as a "photo-op" for political gain. "Instead we hope he'll consider volunteering or making a sizeable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm". The newspaper noted that Obama interrupted his two-week vacation on Martha's Vineyard earlier this week to attend a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the MA island. And she said the state's relief effort "can't afford any distractions".

"It is good Trump and Pence are going to Louisiana to help fellow Americans who are in pain", former House speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted.

It was so much more than a photo-op, it was a person showing people in need that he genuinely cares about them.

Friday, the president asked his team to coordinate with state officials to plan a visit.

White House advisors said Obama is getting daily briefings on the flooding during vacation, including an update Friday from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who traveled to Louisiana a day earlier.