The President of the United States made his first return to Florida since Hurricane Irma wielded winds and churned up storm storm surge which left more than half of the state’s residents without power.
The President spoke inspirationally as he addressed residents in badly-bruised Fort Myers.
His comments about the “very few” who lost their lives in the massive storm system were met with criticism, given that Irma is credited with over 80 deaths. The hurricane’ s death toll was feared to be much higher, like the devastating loss of more than 1,800 lives in the Category 5 Hurricane Katrina.
Florida was only just beginning the recovery process when residents began learning of the tragic happenings inside a Hollywood nursing home. At least 8 senior citizens were added to Irma’s list of fatalities and are thought to have succumbed to intensely high temperatures, due to loss of power and a faulty generator.
The President’s praise and thanks to first responders was echoed by those gathered. But his complimentary words regarding the restoration of electric power were also under scrutiny in the sunshine state, since as of this morning, there were still 1.9 million left without power. Temperatures are expected to reach into the 90’s for the next several days, making air conditioning the most desired of common luxuries.
FP&L has given a target date of September 22 to restore electricity to most, but notes that some harder hit areas may take much longer.
Trump, along with Vice President Pence visited Naples and Fort Myers, stopping to served lunch in a heavily-damaged trailer park. The two were joined by Melania Trump, Governor Rick Scott, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi while they surveyed Irma’s effects via helicopter.
Trump pledged to support Florida and made clear that every effort would be made to help the state rebuild. Vice President Pence reiterated by saying, “As the president said, we are with you today, will be with you tomorrow and we’re going to be with you until Florida rebuilds bigger and better than ever before.”