President Obama 'heartbroken' by Louisiana floods

Barack Obama (AAP)
Barack Obama (AAP)

US President Barack Obama has travelled to the flood-devastated areas of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and vowed to help residents overcome the damage and rebuild.

"We are heartbroken by the loss of life," President Obama said.

"I think anybody who can see just the streets, much less the inside of the homes here, people's lives have been upended by this flood."

Over 60,000 homes have been damaged, 106,000 residents and households have registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and 13 people have been killed.

It has been described as the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

President Obama has been attacked for failing to respond in time to the disaster. The state's Democratic Governor asked him not to come, as the logistics of a Presidential visit would slow down relief efforts.

So, he spent the previous week vacationing while Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited the state to provide supplies.

"Tuesday's too late," Mr Trump told Fox News this weekend.

"Hop into the plane and go down and go to Louisiana and see what's going on, because it's a mess."

President Obama denied that his eventual visit was politically motivated to stop Mr Trump gaining ground.

"One of the benefits of being five months short of leaving here is that I don't think much about politics," he said.

His trip is part of an aid effort by the federal government, which includes US$127 million already being allocated for food and repairs.

"The president is used to people trying to score political points, even in situations where they shouldn't," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

"The president certainly believes this is the kind of situation where we're talking about lives lost, we're talking about a community being upended that it's an appropriate time to put politics aside and focus on our responsibilities as Americans."

President Obama's confident that FEMA's aid money will reach the right people, and state politicians will put aside their differences to do what's best for their people. He also offered words of hope for the people of Louisiana.

"Sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem like too much to bear," he said.

"But what I want the people of Louisiana to know is you're not alone, even after the TV cameras leave."