Residents of LaPlace spent Monday cleaning their homes, dragging out waterlogged carpets and furniture, using brooms to push out mud and debris and relying on water and bleach to clean what was left.
"It's gross," said Barbara Melton, 60, who has lived in her home for 23 years and never experienced flooding. "It's hot, it stinks, but I'm trying to get all this mud and stuff out of my house."
Melton, broom in hand, smiled when talking about Obama visiting the area.
"Having him here and seeing the situation really helps people be able to cope with what's going on, what's happened here."
Both Romney's team and the president's insist that their visits are not aimed at political gain. But the specter of Hurricane Katrina helps explain why both men sought to tour Isaac's damage. Presidents, and would-be presidents, can't afford to get panned the way Bush did in the days after Katrina crippled New Orleans and the Mississippi and Alabama coasts in 2005, killing more than 1,800.
Throughout his visit, Romney was confronted with reminders that locals were most concerned about extending flood protection — paid for by the federal government — far enough to protect their community. In New Orleans, $14 billion in federal aid was set aside to build a complex flood protection system of sea walls and levees after the devastation of Katrina in 2005.
Hunt reported from Wolfeboro, N.H. Associated Press writers Stacey Plaisance in LaPlace, La., Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., Ken Thomas in Charlotte, N.C., and Brian Schwaner in New Orleans contributed to this report.
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