Trump to visit Florida Thursday after Hurricane Irma

Trump to visit Florida on Thursday to survey Irma damage

President Trump landed in Naples, Florida early this Thursday afternoon to meet with victims of Hurricane Irma. "We're going to be with you tomorrow", Trump said. "I'll be back here numerous times".

So I suppose they both know the size of each other's hands now?

Mr Trump earlier met with federal and state leaders in Fort Myers, where he was brimming with enthusiasm for the state and federal response effort.

"It's a team like very few people have seen", Trump said, referring to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Sen.

The president could not resist injecting a political flavour into his visit, telling reporters in Fort Myers that he was hopeful that Mr Scott, a two-term Republican, would run for the Senate, where Democrat Bill Nelson is up for re-election next year. "We are there for you 100 percent", he said, adding, "this is a state that I know very well".

The president also used the opportunity to encourage Scott to run for the Senate.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Thursday that more than 38,000 federal personnel are now working to respond to Hurricane Irma, including staff from the military and civilian agencies.

Some 3.1 million homes and businesses, representing close to one-third of the state's population, were without power on Thursday in Florida and neighboring states. Almost 2.7 million homes and businesses - about one in four Florida customers - are without power. Mrs. Trump will also accompany her husband to visit Florida along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen.

Mr Trump's visit comes just a day after six nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida died after the air conditioning system was switched off. He toured a Houston shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions. "In many cases, they've lost their homes and it's a tough situation".

Some 20 percent of Florida's gas stations had no fuel on Thursday, down from a peak of 46 percent, according to fuel information service Gas Buddy.

Fort Myers sits north of where Hurricane Irma made landfall over the weekend, though the area did suffer some damage. In Naples, the Collier County Public School District remains closed and will not reopen until next week.

Ken Thomas reported from Washington.

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