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Fayetteville, N.C. — President Donald Trump headed to eastern North Carolina on Monday but wasn’t able to see damage from Hurricane Dorian firsthand because of rainy weather.
Trump landed in Havelock in the late afternoon, but storm clouds moved in soon afterward, prompting the Secret Service to tell the crowd that had gathered to see the president to seek shelter.
Trump then headed to Fayetteville for a “Keep America Great” rally at the Crown Expo Center.
The center can accommodate 7,000 people, The Fayetteville Observer reported. The president was scheduled to speak at 7 p.m., but doors opened to the public at 4 p.m. Admission is free, but those who want to attend were asked to register in advance.
Registration does not guarantee entry. Entrance into the event is first come, first serve.
Trump’s visit comes right before voters in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District head to the polls Tuesday for a special election. The State Board of Elections ordered a new election back in February after an investigation found evidence of absentee ballot fraud in the race last November.
On Monday, Democrat Dan McCready gathered with veterans and military families solicit votes in downtown Fayetteville in an event called “Operation Get Out the Vote.”
Trump has announced his support for Republican Dan Bishop, who is running against McCready, Libertarian Jeff Scott and Green Party candidate Allen Smith in the 9th District race.
“We are excited that President Trump would take time out of his busy schedule to campaign during this very important election,” said Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman with Bishop’s campaign.
Fayetteville police have not received any permit requests from protesters during the event, according to a statement from Sgt. Jeremy Glass with the Fayetteville Police Department.
Crown Complex anticipates traffic congestion around Trump rally
In anticipation of crowds eager to join in the rally, Crown Complex officials offered guidance for traffic traveling in the area Monday afternoon.
For patrons traveling northbound on Interstate 95 (Lumberton Area): Take Exit 40 (I-95BUS N/US-301 N). Travel north on U.S. Highway 301 until directed by law enforcement to turn right on to Owen Drive and will enter the complex via the Owen Drive entrance at the Crown Complex.
For patrons traveling southbound on Interstate 95 (Dunn/Benson/Eastover Area): Take Exit 46B (NC-87N). Travel north on N.C. Highway 87 until Exit 100 – Owen Drive. Law enforcement will direct traffic to turn left into the Owen Drive entrance at the Crown Complex.
For patrons traveling northbound on U.S. 301 (Grays Creek Area): Vehicles will be directed by law enforcement to turn right on to Owen Drive and will enter the complex via the Owen Drive entrance at the Crown Complex.
For patrons traveling on MLK Freeway (North Fayetteville/Ramsey Street Area): Use Exit 100 – Owen Drive. Law enforcement will direct traffic to turn left into the Owen Drive entrance at the Crown Complex.
For patrons traveling east on Owen Drive (Cross Creek Mall Area): Vehicles are to use both thru lanes to cross U.S. 301. Law enforcement will be directing traffic toward the facility. Vehicles will enter via the Owen Drive entrance of the Crown Complex.
For patrons traveling on All-American Expressway (Fort Bragg Area): Continue east onto Owen Drive and use both thru lanes to cross U.S. 301. Law enforcement will be directing traffic toward the facility. Vehicles will enter via the Owen Drive entrance of the Crown Complex.