President Trump visited North Carolina last week, amid the destruction that Hurricane Florence left behind, vowing:
“We’re ready… to do whatever we have to do to make this perfect.”
The death toll from the prolonged storm that hit the North Carolina coast as a CAT-2 has slowly risen to 37-people.
At the height of the storm – with its life-threatening storm surges, heavy rain and sustained winds with gusts of over 100 miles per hour – close to 350,000 power outages were reported across the state.
The devastation isn’t over yet as inland lakes, rivers and streams continue to crest, flooding everything within their path.
Residents in the city of Wilmington had been ordered to leave their homes by Governor Cooper before the devastating storm came on shore, and are now cut off because of the immense floods covering all of the main roads into the city.
The Governor has asked residents to be patient during this crucial period of disaster relief efforts being conducted by first responders saying: “I know it was hard to leave home, and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to.”
The president arrived on Wednesday and helped volunteers at a church in the hard-hit coastal town of New Bern, handing out boxed lunches and interacting with local residents and first responders.
“How’s the house?” The president was over-heard asking an individual as he continued distributing white foam containers of food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit. Adding, “You take care of yourself.”
Under sunny skies and with temperatures reaching the 90’s, the president acknowledged the wrath of mother-nature, calling Hurricane Florence “one of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country” and promised federal support for disaster relief. “There will be nothing left undone,” he said.
Adding, “People don’t realize how a very difficult phase is beginning today, with the beautiful sunshine. We’ll have it all taken care of.”
Back at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in eastern North Carolina, the president was briefed by state and local officials.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said:
“Our state took a gut punch, Mr. President, and our people are still reeling.” Adding that the storm was “epic,” “disastrous” and “widespread.” Thus far the death toll confirmed in North Carolina stands at 27.
The storm wreaked havoc on livestock with an estimated 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 hogs housed on farms drowning within the raging flood-waters, and more than 5-million gallons of partially treated sewage spilling into the Cape Fear River after the power went out at a treatment plant.
However, in the midst all this heartache and devastation, a sweet moment was captured on video while President Trump was meeting and consoling families affected by the massive storm.
A little boy standing quietly next to the president handing out food asked for a hug from the Commander-in-Chief, and without missing a beat, the president stretched out his arms, bent his 6-foot plus frame and gently hugged the little boy.
The touching scene instantly drew smiles and applause from both the families and the volunteer workers handing out food. An elderly worker standing behind them said, “I think I’m gonna cry,” after watching the president embrace the boy.