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Donald Trump, Melania Trump
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Southwest Florida International airport to meet with first responders and people impacted by Hurricane Irma, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Ft. Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump visited Florida to meet with Irma victims and survey damage


Updated September 14, 2017 01:30 PM EDT

President Trump and the first lady boarded a flight in Fort Myers, Florida, to return to Washington, D.C., shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Thursday after touring Hurricane Irma damage and meeting storm victims.

Updated September 14, 2017 12:31 PM EDT

President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Irma victims in Naples, Florida.

Updated September 14, 2017 11:18 AM EDT

President Trump on Thursday said that the aftermath of Hurricane Irma presents a "tough situation" for Florida as he toured recovery efforts and met with storm victims there.

"It's a tough situation," he said in Fort Myer, Florida. "Media, we appreciate you being so understanding. This has been a difficult situation."

"We're going to go see a lot of the folks," Trump added, referencing Florida residents impacted by Irma. "We are now going to be making a tour of the area. We're trying to keep them as happy as we can under the circumstances."

Trump added that the recovery effort in Florida is making progress, however, noting improvements to the state's electricity availability and its infrastructure.

"It's going way ahead of schedule, weeks ahead of schedule," he said of restoring power to Florida's residents. "What we had to do to get some of those ports open, you wouldn't believe. I'm very proud of the job everyone around has done."

Trump visited Fort Myer alongside first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and the group also appeared with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Scott called Florida a "strong, resilient state" before thanking Trump's administration for helping it recover from Irma, which struck there last Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.

"As you know, our state's been devastated," he said. "We're working hard to get our power back on. We have a lot of work to do. We're not done yet today."

"I want to thank the president and vice president," Scott added. "I want to thank the Coast Guard and the Navy. I want to thank everyone for their prayers."

Updated September 14, 2017 11:08 AM EDT

President Trump and Vice President Pence have arrived in Florida.

President Trump on Thursday traveled to Florida to meet with Hurricane Irma's victims and learn about recovery efforts following the storm there.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to visit Fort Myers and Naples on Florida's southwestern coast following the natural disaster, which first struck the state as a Category 4 hurricane last Sunday.

The president tweeted earlier Thursday that Irma was a "real disaster" that had left "much work to do" in places like Florida that were recently battered by Irma.

Irma left at least 25 people dead in Florida due to storm-related circumstances, and it also played a part in six deaths in Georgia and South Carolina.

The storm is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded, and it killed at least 38 people across the Caribbean Sea before reaching the U.S. last weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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