Donald Trump Witnesses Hurricane Michael Devastation in Florida

Cristina Cross
October 16, 2018

On arrival at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso, Trump spoke briefly of the storm's impact on local residents, telling reporters: "You know many of these people, they have no homes". Earlier, he remarked that he is "just making sure everyone is safe". Repairs were being made to the home, owned by Michael Rollins, who told Trump he rode out the storm there.

Several people have been killed and thousands evacuated from their homes as the category-four hurricane damaged and destroyed houses, hospitals, roads and water systems across the Florida panhandle.

Officials warn the death toll from the storm is likely to rise as search and rescue teams from across the country work to gain access to the hardest hit areas.

The Trumps also planned to visit part of neighboring Georgia that was hit by Michael before returning to the White House on Monday evening, the White House said.

Crews with dogs went door-to-door Saturday in Mexico Beach, pushing aside debris to get inside badly damaged structures in a second wave of searches following what they described as an initial, "hasty" search of the area. He saw houses stripped of their roofs, a water tower that had toppled to the ground and 18-wheel trucks scattered in a parking lot. "You know that, right?" he told the farmers.

The death toll stood at 17, including one confirmed death in Florida.

Accounting for those missing has been made more hard by damaged mobile phone coverage in many areas.

At least 18 people have died, and more than 1,500 are informally missing as a result of Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in the Florida panhandle on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, carrying sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is right and Florida Gov. "Then we get on scene and find their family members and they have no food, no water, no power".

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Vann praised the efforts of first responders after the storm. President Trump shook hands and chatted with residents; he was accompanied by the mayor of Lynn Haven, Margo Anderson.

After meeting briefly with the FEMA personnel, Trump rounded the corner at the front of the vehicle, and the hundreds of people visiting the impromptu distribution center broke into cheers and applause. "Everybody has been incredible". With Scott at his side, Trump told him: "You're a great governor". "I ain't got time, unless he wants to help clean up".

Asked during his tour of Lynn Haven to compare Hurricane Michael with other recent hurricanes, Trump suggested it was the worst in recent memory.

Later in the afternoon, Trump arrived in Macon, Georgia, and gave a briefing at an American Red Cross building.

"To see this personally. total devastation", Trump said as he walked through a residential area along 7th Street.

Michael knocked out power across the South, and Sunday night nearly 700,000 remained powerless across five states, including 188,000 in Florida.

Over the weekend, he made a disaster declaration for six Georgia counties. "There's people waving at us down there as they are out cleaning up", Holton said. All of your people have been awesome working with FEMA, working with the first responders, working with local law enforcement.

"Look behind you. I mean, those massive trees are just ripped out of the earth".

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