On Thursday, President Trump surveyed the damage from Hurricane Irma by helicopter. He also thanked and praised first responders while serving lunch to the victims of Hurricane Irma.
“We’ve seen the devastation,” Trump told reporters after arriving in Fort Myers. “We’re going to see some more of it now, unfortunately.”
First lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and FEMA administrator Brock Long joined Trump for his tour.
The President expressed his appreciation for first responders and state officials grappling with the destruction from the hurricane.
“I just want to thank everybody,” Trump said.
Following Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Thursday’s trip was the President’s third visit in less than three weeks to survey storm damage and recovery efforts in the United States.
Marine One flew very low during the 15-minute trip from Fort Myers to Naples, giving Trump a good view of the flood damage.
The President and Vice President served lunch at Naples Estates, a mobile home park that was hit hard by the hurricane.
“As the President said, we are with you today, will be with you tomorrow and we’re going to be with you until Florida rebuilds bigger and better than ever before,” Pence said in Fort Myers.
Nearly half of Florida was struck by Irma, which left many streets flooded and residents without homes. Many communities have begun cleaning up, even though some are still without power.
In Lee County, which includes Cape Coral and Fort Myers, the Florida Emergency Management Agency said 66 percent of the area’s 290,000 electrical customers were still without power Wednesday. These outages have caused many back-ups at the few restaurants and gas stations that are currently open.
The situation was even worse to the south in Collier County, home to Naples. Days after Irma passed, almost 80 percent of homes and businesses were still without electricity, and floodwaters still covered the entirety of the communities.
As of Thursday morning, the number of homes and businesses without electricity in Florida was 2.69 million, according to the agency. That’s 25.6 percent of all customers in the state.
“We are working hard to get power back on. Our utilities have restored over 4-million homes already,” Scott said during Trump’s visit.