Visiting Florida, Trump Praises 'Incredible' First Responders, State Officials

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Trump, who was in and out of the state in less than three hours, got an aerial view of the water-deluged homes along Florida's southwestern coast from his helicopter, then drove in his motorcade along streets lined with felled trees, broken traffic lights and shuttered stores on his way to a mobile home community hit hard by the storm.

The White House announced Tuesday afternoon that President Donald Trump will go to Florida on Thursday to see some of the aftermath from Hurricane Irma, as that state continues to clear debris, and figure out exactly how much damage was done in a wide swath from Jacksonville through South Florida and into the Florida Keys.

Melania Trump revealed on Twitter that she would travel with the president.

Trump said that storms were bigger in the 1930s and 1940s.

Several days later, he made a second trip to Houston, where he participated in recovery efforts and met Texans who'd lost their homes.

Other elements of his first trip to Texas struck an awkward tone: the first lady's stiletto heels, worn while boarding Marine One at the White House, drew widespread backlash on social media, and Trump's comments to a gathering of supporters - "what a great turnout!" - were more valedictory than comforting.

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Trump said, turning to the cameras.

He warned residents to be extra vigilant, saying not to touch downed power lines and to listen to local officials.

"I can guarantee you this - it's going to cost billions, upon billions, upon billions of dollars", Curbelo said Monday.

The president couldn't resist injecting a political flavor into his visit, telling reporters in Fort Myers that he was hopeful that Scott, a two-term Republican, would run for the Senate, where Democrat Bill Nelson is up for re-election next year. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Florida previous year by about 1 percentage point. "But I know that at a certain point it ends for you, and we can't let it end", Trump said. "So I hope he runs for the Senate". Marco Rubio; state Attorney General Pam Bondi; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's administrator, Brock Long. The risk was illustrated Thursday at a nursing home in Hollywood, where eight residents died after their air conditioning stopped working.

About 1.8 million customers were without electricity in Florida, including 281,400 homes and businesses served by municipal power companies and electric cooperatives.

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