President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spent the day in Florida to visit victims of Hurricane Irma, which struck the state earlier this week. It’s the second time in less than a month Trump has visited a state hit hard by a hurricane, since he was in Texas twice to meet victims of Hurricane Harvey two weeks ago. This post will continue to be updated with more photos from Trump’s trip.
Trump was scheduled to arrive in Fort Myers at around 10:40 a.m. to meet with officials on the Irma recovery efforts. After that, he is going to Naples to visit victims impacted by the hurricane. He will be back in Washington D.C. by the end of the day, as he’s scheduled to host a dinner for the White House Historical Association.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Vice President Mike Pence is also traveling to Florida. Trump also met with Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida First Lady Ann Scott. Florida Senator Marco Rubio also attended the briefing.
Recovery efforts in Florida have been made difficult thanks to the rising temperatures there, combined with the ongoing struggle to restore power. On Wednesday, four days after the storm made landfall, eight people died at a Hollywood, Florida nursing home after its air conditioning unit stopped working. The death toll in the U.S. from Irma has risen to 31. At least 37 others were killed while the storm ravaged the Caribbean.
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said that 3.2 million accounts are still without power. Florida Power and Light said that 4.4 million of its customers were impacted and it doesn’t think power to the East Coast will be fully restored until Sunday night. Over 8,000 people are still in general population shelters throughout the state, with another 4,000 in special needs shelters.
Scott also announced that the Federal Highway Administration approved a $25 million Emergency Relief Quick Release Grant to help restore Florida’s roads and transportation system.
“I want to thank President Trump, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and the entire Administration for their commitment to helping Floridians impacted by Irma,” Scott, a Republican, said on Wednesday. “The Florida Department of Transportation is already responding in full-force to quickly repair Florida’s roads and transportation infrastructure damaged in the storm and this critical funding will enhance our efforts to ensure the safety of families as they travel through our state.”