by Michael Bastasch
President Donald Trump thanked first responders and government officials who saved lives and aided the ongoing recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
“I just want to thank all of the incredible men and women who have done such a great job in helping with Florence,” Trump said in a video message released Tuesday evening.
“This is a tough hurricane. One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water. Rarely have we had an experience like it, and it certainly is not good,” Trump said.
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Trump said, “the people of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, all of the areas affected, you’ve been incredible.”
“There’s been a loss of life and may god be with them and their families. That’s a tough one. It’s tough to understand, but this has been a really difficult period of time for a lot of people,” Trump said.
Trump is expected to travel to hurricane-ravaged areas on Wednesday, sources told CNN. Trump is expected to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but CNN had no details of where Trump might go in North Carolina.
One preliminary damage estimate for Florence put the tab as high as $30 billion. The Trump administration has already begun freeing up federal funding for recovery efforts.
Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, bringing with it massive storm surge, record rainfall and flooding. Hundreds of people had to be pulled from cars and rooftops as rivers overflowed in heavys rains.
So far, the storm’s death toll stands at 32, including 25 confirmed deaths in North Carolina. More than 900 North Carolina residents were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said, and thousands are in emergency shelters.
Trump also congratulated the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials and members of the military for their efforts.
“FEMA the job you’ve done, the military, Coast Guard, what you’ve done in saving so many lives has been really something special,” Trump said. “Law enforcement, always.
“Again I just want to thank everybody for doing such a great job with a very difficult situation. Florence has been a nasty one, a big one, like that area has never seen before,” Trump said before signing off. “So, the waters are still rising. Listen to your state and authorities. Be patient, be alert and God bless you.”
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