Trump praises Florida for Irma effort

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 17, 2017

About 1.8 million customers were without electricity in Florida, including 281,400 homes and businesses served by municipal power companies and electric cooperatives.

The White House announced Tuesday afternoon that President Donald Trump will go to Florida on Thursday to see some of the aftermath from Hurricane Irma, as that state continues to clear debris, and figure out exactly how much damage was done in a wide swath from Jacksonville through South Florida and into the Florida Keys. In striking a deal with Democrats last week, Trump secured billions of dollars in federal disaster relief funding, though the affected states will ultimately require exponentially more help down the road.

It was Mr. Trump's third visit to storm-ravaged parts of the United States in the past few weeks after two major hurricanes, and he again praised the federal government's performance. "We are there for you 100 percent", he said, adding, "this is a state that I know very well".

Vice President Mike Pence, who joined Trump on the trip, promised Floridians: "We're with you today. So I hope he runs for the Senate".

After Harvey struck Texas, Trump drew criticism for having minimal interaction with residents during his first trip in late August.

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. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions. The two storms combined killed about 150 people in the US and the Caribbean islands and caused more than $30 billion in estimated damages, and Harvey brought record rainfall to Texas.

Shortly after, first lady Melania Trump tweeted that she would accompany her husband to Florida on Thursday. One man yelled, "Make America Great Again!" "We're going to be with you tomorrow", Trump said. The risk was illustrated Thursday at a nursing home in Hollywood, where eight residents died after their air conditioning stopped working.

In Lee County, which includes Cape Coral and Fort Myers, the Florida Emergency Management Agency said 66 percent of the area's 290,000 electrical customers were still without power Wednesday.

The situation was even worse to the south in Collier County, home to Naples.

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