Trump tours hurricane-ravaged Florida and Georgia

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump toured hurricane ravaged Florida on Monday, five days ...

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 3:58 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 3:58 AM

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump toured hurricane ravaged Florida on Monday, five days after Hurricane Michael made landfall.

Trump touted the storm response upon landing in Florida, telling reporters on Eglin Air Force base that officials "stepped up" and followed "right behind" Hurricane Michael.

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Later, walking past splintered trees and destroyed homes, Trump seemed in awe of the storm's wrath.

"To see this personally is very tough. It's very, very tough. Total devastation," the President said.

The trip followed a pattern the President has established after major storms: visiting the affected areas, greeting residents and handing out provisions.

On Monday, Trump handed bottles of water to stranded residents of Lynn Haven while trumpeting his administration's response efforts.

"We're doing more than has probably ever been done," he said. "They say that 50 years ago there was one that had this kind of power."

"Fifty years," he continued, "it's long time."

Earlier, on the tarmac in Panama City, Trump hailed Federal Emergency Management Agency and its response to the storm.

"The job they've done in Florida has been incredible and likewise I'm hearing in Georgia," Trump told reporters.

Trump was greeted by Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

The Trumps began their visit to Florida with an aerial tour from Marine One over areas affected by the hurricane. Trump is also expected to visit Georgia on his trip.

Officials say dozens of people are still missing. Search crews in Mexico Beach, Florida, are sifting precariously through heavy rubble in search of about 25 to 30 people, the city's police chief said.

The storm has already claimed 18 lives in four states.

Authorities say it could be weeks or months before a sense of normalcy returns to storm-ravaged Florida.

Trump has consistently visited states following natural disasters and hurricanes. Last month, Trump traveled to the Carolinas following deadly Hurricane Florence.

In 2017, Trump received criticism after visiting damage zones in Puerto Rico and Texas and was accused of appearing overly congratulatory, even as conditions remained dire.

On his first visit to Texas after Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of Houston, Trump met with no storm victims, choosing instead to receive high-level briefings from state officials. He later returned to the state to meet with displaced families.

When he visited San Juan after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Trump lobbed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a church -- an image that has since come to illustrate what his critics say was a lackluster approach to the island's destruction.

Presidents have long sought to use natural disasters as a way to project executive leadership, often in a setting where politics are set aside. But pitfalls have abounded, including in 2005 when President George W. Bush faced intense criticism for his response to Hurricane Katrina.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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