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EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump flew above the Florida Panhandle on Monday to see the wreckage left behind after Hurricane Michael slammed its coastal communities and he immediately praised Gov. Rick Scott for an “incredible” response to a storm that flattened homes and left thousands without electricity.
Scott greeted Trump upon his arrival at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso.
“The job they’ve done in Florida has been incredible,” Trump told reporters. With Scott standing alongside him, Trump said: “You’re a great governor.”
Scott returned the praise, saying he’s gotten everything he’s asked for from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said he’s spoken with Trump “almost every day.”
“Every time I’ve called, he’s come through,” Scott said of Trump.
The Florida Panhandle took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, which ravaged the coastline last week with powerful 155 mph winds. More than 190,000 homes and businesses in Florida remain without electricity, along with about 120,000 homes and businesses in Georgia.
Trump tweeted before leaving the White House accompanied by his wife, Melania, that he will meet with law enforcement and government officials aiding the massive recovery effort. He said “maximum effort is taking place, everyone is working very hard. Worst hit in 50 years!”
He tweeted after arriving in Florida that he’s “also thinking about our GREAT Alabama farmers and our many friends in North and South Carolina today. We are with you!” Trump was also surveying hurricane damage in Georgia before returning to the White House later Monday.
The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida through to Virginia stood at 17, with one confirmed death in Mexico Beach, Florida.