Trump to residents in Irma's path: 'Just get out of its way'

Casey Dawson
September 11, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with congressional leaders: House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017.

The president's famed Mar-a-Lago estate - the so-called "winter White House" in southeast Florida where Trump has spent many weekends since his inauguration - looks like it could suffer some major damage if the Category 5 hurricane continues on its projected path.

He talked to Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, where Irma made landfall early Sunday as a category 4 storm with winds up to 130 miles per hour.

Trump also spoke to the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee - states that are expected to feel Irma's effects over the next several days.

Trump called it a "storm of enormous destructive power" and asked "everyone in the storm path to heed all instructions, get out of its way".

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

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Trump, who has not shied away from openly religious displays since becoming president, has also been providing updates and messages to residents in Irma's path on Twitter.

Earlier, Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said that he had spoken to Pentagon and State Department officials and insisted they were prepared to tackle Irma response efforts quickly.

Pence and the Cabinet secretaries later visited FEMA headquarters. "We'll be there with resources and support, both to save lives and to help to recover and rebuild these states and these communities".

The briefing the President received at Camp David caused Trump "great concern" because, as the hurricane moves up the west coast of the state, the storm surge could result in deaths, Pence told CNN. Again, we've never seen anything like this. "We've all been working together". He said he was saying prayers for us.

Trump also issued a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico on Sunday and expanded federal funds available to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Irma, the White House said.

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