Hurricane Irma: Trump heads to Florida to see damage
15 September, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Greg Wolfe
President Donald Trump couldn't resist injecting a dose of politics into his tour of storm-damaged Florida on Thursday, saying Republican Gov. Rick Scott is doing such a good job with the recovery effort that he should run for the Senate.
"I will be traveling to Florida tomorrow to meet with our great Coast Guard, FEMA and numerous courageous first responders & others", President Trump tweeted.
"I don't know what he's going to do". White House officials say Trump also plans to visit the devastated US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico soon. My thanks and appreciation go out to our great local, state and federal first responders, energy linemen and women, and local, state and federal government employees who have worked tirelessly to prepare and respond to this event. While he did not see any damage caused by Harvey, he met with storm victims that were forced into shelters during the storm.
The president brushed off a question about whether the recent hurricanes had made him rethink his views on climate change, which he has previously dismissed as a "hoax".
Other areas of the state, however, remain largely incapacitated, including the Florida Keys, where an estimated quarter of the homes were destroyed.
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The visit comes as lawmakers from Florida have made appeals to their colleagues in Congress to give more disaster relief aid to FEMA, anxious that the scope of the damage in Florida will require more resources to be approved in coming weeks.
On his second visit, to Texas and Louisiana, he was more hands-on.
Throughout the storms, Trump has been eager to project a high level of federal competence, and to avoid pitfalls made by some of his predecessors in the face of natural disasters. He hewed toward hearty handshakes and enthusiastic promises rather than hugs and tears, but he was well received by people grappling with the storm. Gas stations along the way advertised that they didn't have fuel. In Collier County, where Naples is located, 75 percent of residents still faced outages. Days after Irma passed, nearly 80 percent of homes and businesses were still without electricity, and floodwaters still covered some communities entirely.
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But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted that Britain was responding strongly to an "unprecedented catastrophe". At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean, with 12 dead in Florida, four killed in SC and two in Georgia.
Congress could then issue sanctions that, according to the plan, would force everybody back to the table. But Johnson said it is important for Iran to see that economic benefits result from the nuclear deal.
There is a also small chance of power cuts, and some damage to buildings, such as tiles blowing off roofs, the Met Office said. This will affect coastal counties of the southwest, south and possibly parts of the east coast later.
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