President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have officially arrived in Florida, Reuters is reporting. The couple landed at Eglin Air Force Base on Monday, October 15 to asses the damage of Hurricane Michael, one of the strongest storms to have ever hit the United States. At least 18 people throughout fur different states have been killed due to the storm, and homes have been destroyed. More victims are expected, and cadaver dogs are helping to search through the rubble of ruined houses. Trump was able to receive an aerial view of the ruins via helicopter.
“You know many of these people, they have no homes,” Trump said to the press. “Some of them have no trace of a home… so our big thing is feeding, water and safety.”
Trump was welcomed on the base by Governor Rick Scott, who is also currently running for a spot in the U.S. Senate. Trump told Scott and the press that the day’s objective was “just making sure everyone is safe, that they’re fed.” He also praised Scott for his “incredible” response to the storm and told him he was a “great governor,” reports the Chicago Tribune. Scott returned the compliment and stated that he was able to receive all the resources he needed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and that he was able to speak with Trump directly “almost every day.”
Hurricane Michael, which was identified as a Category 4 storm and reached winds of up to 155 mph, cost $6 billion and $10 billion in insured losses, Yahoo reported. These numbers don’t even account for uninsured property. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, while most people who had lost power have had it returned, there is still 85 percent of people in four counties in the Florida Panhandle who do not have their electricity back yet. This adds up to about 190,000 Floridians who are still without power. In addition, 120,000 locations in Georgia are also still reportedly without power.
Will be leaving for Florida and Georgia with the First Lady to tour the hurricane damage and visit with FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement. Maximum effort is taking place, everyone is working very hard. Worst hit in 50 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2018
The situation is considered dire, with over 1,7000 search-and-rescue workers, seven swift-water rescue teams and almost 300 ambulances sent out among the wreckage. Many people are attributing this storm and the most recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Florence, to climate change. Trump recently made waves by stating he is no longer considering global warming a hoax, although he still is not sure if he believes it’s man-made.
This isn’t the first time Trump has traveled to the south in just the past couple of months, with him coming down to visit the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence in September.
“To all those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help,” he said of Florence. “You will recover.”