February 21, 2018

Trump receives 'comprehensive update' on Hurricane Irma

11 September 2017, 12:51 | Kara Nash

An American flag is torn as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples Fla. Sunday Sept. 10 2017

An American flag is torn as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples Fla. Sunday Sept. 10 2017

A spate of social media posts expressing hope that Hurricane Irma trashes President Trump's Palm Beach, Fla., resort is producing a backlash of disgust and criticism.

Trump sided with Democrats this week to raise the US borrowing limit and keep the government operating through early December in a bid to speed federal assistance to hurricane victims.

As many as 5.6 million people have been evacuated after Irma's landfall in Cuba.

Trump also said of Irma that 'we've never seen anything like this'. "The critical infrastructure, the electric companies are going to be huge in this response, and also getting the word out so people know that it may not be (an) immediate search-and-rescue recovery depending on how this storm progresses - setting expectations".

He also said the lives and livelihood of many Americans - possibly from the very climate change-denying sections that had chosen Trump president - "will be at risk if Trump and his administration continue to deny the existence of climate change and its impact on the threat posed by hurricanes". He thanked FEMA and the Homeland Security Department, which oversees the agency, for their efforts.

"The storm is here", Governor Rick Scott said at news conference on Saturday, noting that 25,000 people had already lost power.

Waves crash over a seawall at the mouth of the Miami River from Biscayne Bay Fla
Waves crash over a seawall at the mouth of the Miami River from Biscayne Bay Fla

"Every resource of the federal government is being brought to bear to support state and local efforts", said Pence on Sunday.

"The President noted that this is a storm of historic destructive potential", said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"We need to take this seriously", he said. "And he's asking that everyone in the storm's path remain vigilant and heed recommendations from government officials and law enforcement".

States of emergency was declared in Florida, Georgia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico to prepare for Irma's landfall.

"My administration is monitoring the situation around the clock, and we're in constant communications with all of the governors, with the state and local officials", Trump said in a video of the meeting released by the White House. "We are doing everything we can to help with disaster preparations and, when the time comes, we will restore, recover, and rebuild - together, as Americans".

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