WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Hurricane Irma looks like “something that could be not good.”
Ahead of a meeting with Congressional leaders Wednesday, Trump said the group had a lot to discuss, including what “seems to be record-breaking hurricane heading right toward Florida and Puerto Rico and other places.”
Trump says “we’ll see what happens.” He adds: “it looks like it could be something that could be not good, believe me not good.”
Hurricane Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history. It made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday. Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
PROVIDING IRMA RELIEF
The president’s homeland security adviser says the government can handle Hurricane Irma relief because the life-saving phase for Hurricane Harvey is over and has entered a longer term phase focused on individuals.
Tom Bossert tells The Associated Press that the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas are not being forgotten as Irma hits the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and possibly Florida later this week. He says those in the path of the newest storm should heed evacuation orders.
For Harvey, he says the government is working on longer-term assistance, such as Small Business Administration loans, unemployment wages and reconstruction.
The U.S. State Department is warning U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Cuba, Haiti or the Dominican Republic due to the expected impact of Hurricane Irma.
It notes that the Category 5 storm could bring life-threatening flooding, flash flooding, mudslides, and storm surge, while travel and other services will likely be disrupted.
The department says it has authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees and their family members from the three countries due to the hurricane.