Trump Approves Disaster Declaration for Florence

As North Carolina faces continued flooding from Tropical Storm Florence, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration that will speed the deployment of federal resources to help the storm-ravaged region.

Trump’s declaration provides “grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” according to the declaration, which was posted on the White House media pool website. The declaration focuses on those counties within North Carolina that have suffered the greatest damage to date.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has called Florence an “uninvited brute” that could wipe out communities with its flooding, NPR reported.

Prior to the storm’s onslaught on the Carolina coast, Trump approved a vast federal response, the White House said Friday.

Trump has alerted more than 3,800 federal employees, which included more than 1,000 employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist state and local governments with rescues and other needs.

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As federal workers prepared to go to work, Trump cheered them on.

“Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement – not easy, very dangerous, tremendous talent. America is proud of you. Keep it all going – finish strong!” he tweeted Friday.

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Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement – not easy, very dangerous, tremendous talent. America is proud of you. Keep it all going – finish strong!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2018

Trump contacted North Carolina officials Friday to ensure that the federal response met their needs, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said, according to The Hill.

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“President Trump assured each elected official that the federal government stood ready and prepared to assist with anything their state and respective communities would need during this natural disaster,” Gidley said.

“The president has been monitoring hurricane Florence throughout the day and has received updates regarding the impact of this devastating storm,” he added.

As Florence built up strength before pounding both North Carolina and neighboring South Carolina, Trump said the federal government was ready to respond.

“The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority. We are sparing no expense. We are totally prepared. We’re ready,” the president said. “We’re as ready as anybody has ever been.”

Next week, Trump will likely go to North Carolina to tour the damaged areas.

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“The president is expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts. We will keep you posted when we have details,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday, according to the Charlotte Observer.

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More than 7,000 #ServiceMembers, @USNationalGuard and #ActiveDuty, are standing by to assist as #HurricaneFlorence hits the #EastCoast.
Read more: https://t.co/wRKDguknjK pic.twitter.com/V3x4SrGkgI

— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) September 14, 2018

Active duty military units and members of the National Guard from various states are also responding to the disaster, according to the Army Times.

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