WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will hear directly from people affected by Irma’s fury as he makes his third visit in less than three weeks to the storm-wracked South.
Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, was scheduled to visit Naples and Fort Myers on Florida’s southwestern coast Thursday to meet with those affected by the hurricane and learn more about relief efforts.
He tweeted Wednesday that he planned to meet “with our great Coast Guard, FEMA and many of the brave first responders & others.”
The daytrip to Florida follows two earlier outings in which Trump took in Harvey recovery efforts in late August. During the president’s first trip to Texas, immediately after Harvey, he drew criticism for having minimal interaction with residents, seeing little damage and offering few expressions of concern. On his second trip, with stops in Texas and Louisiana, he was more hands-on, visiting with those driven from their homes by Harvey, touring a Houston mega-shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and briefly walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions.
The president monitored Irma over the weekend from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
Nearly half of Florida was engulfed by Irma, which left flooded streets, damaged homes and displaced residents in its wake. The Keys felt Irma’s full fury when the hurricane roared in after wreaking devastation in the Caribbean, but the extent of the damage has been an unanswered question because some places have been unreachable.
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