WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration was able to keep an eye on developments surrounding Hurricane Michael, even when he was attending a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania the night before.
“I had a tremendous rally in Pennsylvania … and I couldn’t tell people that had been standing in line for a day and a half wanting to get into the arena that I’m not going,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I went there. We had great control over what we were doing, both in Air Force One, at the White House and in Florida. And I think you’re seeing we’re getting tremendous marks for the job that we did.”
When Michael made landfall on Panhandle beach cities Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) rated it just shy of Category 5. Winds up to 155 miles per hour were reported at that time. The hurricane has since been downgraded to Category 1.
Flooding and pounding rain have devastated the panhandle as well as parts of southeastern and southwestern Georgia. The Carolinas have experienced heavy rain.
Two people are reported dead from the storm, a man in Florida and an 11-girl old girl in Georgia. More than 300,000 are reportedly without power.
Trump said that while the hurricane was destructive, he was grateful that it passed quickly.
“It just was speedy,” Trump said. “If it wasn’t, there’d be absolutely nothing left.”