President Trump visits the Carolinas after Florence
President Trump just arrived at a Baptist church in New Bern, North Carolina, where he was greeted by the local pastor.
Trump is expected to tour areas where relief centers are staged.
The President's motorcade arrived in New Bern after rolling along North Carolina 70 East. They passed by spectators, peppered down the route, who watched and took photos as they drove by.
Some shops appeared to be open, but several trees were downed. The nearby Neuse River appeared to be still higher than normal.
President Trump lauded emergency workers in North Carolina during a visit to the storm-impacted region on Wednesday as he predicted a costly clean up.
"The job you’ve done has been incredible," Trump said inside an airplane hangar in North Carolina. "They’re talking about it all over the world."
"Unfortunately, the money will be a lot but it's going to come," he said later, vowing a robust federal response to the storm.
He told those who lost loved ones the country was in mourning.
"America grieves with you and our hearts break for you. God bless you. We will never forget your loss," Trump said. "To all those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help. You will recover."
Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said that although the rain has stopped in the Carolina's, the devastation isn't over.
"This event is not over," he said. "The rivers are still cresting. We still have a lot of work to do."
Here are some of the things FEMA is still working on:
- Officials need to get roads open so power crews can get into the isolated areas and flooded areas.
- FEMA is putting a big focus on the hazardous materials, Long said.
- FEMA is helping survivors get disaster assistance. Teams are in the field and in shelters to help.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, sitting next to President Trump in Cherry Point, North Carolina, told him the state "took a gut punch."
"Our people are still reeling. We have lost 27 lives officially so far, and more are under investigation. We mourn their loss," he said, adding that farmers lost crops, businesses are shuttered, people lost homes.
"We are beginning the process of getting our feet under us, Mr. President," Cooper said, describing Hurricane Florence as "a storm like no other."
"We have weathered storms before in our state. Mr. President, we have never seen one like this. This one has been epic. It has been disastrous. And it has been widespread," he said.
Appealing to Trump, Cooper said, "Mr. President, we have a long road ahead. And the days and the months and even years ahead to make sure we build back to where we need to be here in North Carolina."
"And, you're here, and I'm asking you, sir, for your help every step of the way."
President Trump is speaking at Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he is due to receive a hurricane briefing.
"Hurricane Florence was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Carolinas, one of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country," he said.
"To the families who have lost loved ones, America grieves with you and our hearts break for you. God bless you. We will never forget your loss. We will never leave your side. We are with you all the way," he added. "To all of those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help you will recover."
Watch live in the video player above.
President Trump will arrive in North Carolina today to blue skies, but what remains a very dangerous situation.
Much of the eastern half of both North and South Carolinas are still dealing with the record amount of water left by Florence.
Some rivers in North Carolina have set record new heights and look to be near their peak.
For example, the Cape Fear River near Chinquapin has risen to about 27 feet, according to the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert network. That's nearly four feet above its previous record.
It will take the rest of the week for most these rivers to even remotely get back to normal.
And it's not over: Some rivers, like the Waccamaw near Conway, South Carolina, aren't even forecast to peak until later this weekend. The forecast is for it to rise a couple of feet above the rivers previous crest record, at 19.5 ft.
But there is some good news: For the next several days, the rain will be held at bay. Giving time for things to subside and dry out. By this weekend and into next week the chance of rain is likely to return. But thankfully not the rain we saw during Florence.
President Trump travels to flood-ravaged North Carolina today to assess the federal response to Hurricane Florence, which drenched the state last week.
Precise details of the President's trip were being closely held ahead of his morning departure from the White House, but he is expected to receive briefings and view damage during his stay.
He is due to arrive mid-morning at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, situated along the bloated Neuse River.
First lady Melania Trump will not be traveling with the President today. Her spokeswoman said she had a scheduling conflict.