Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Donald Trump Jokes with Storm Victim After Boat Lands in His Yard

At his first stop in Cherry Point, North Carolina, Trump participated in a hurricane briefing, where he praised all agencies involved in recovery efforts, calling Florence the most powerful hurricane to hit the Carolinas.

Trump was apparently talking to an older man whose home had been damaged after a large yacht had washed ashore and was shipwrecked against the wooden deck of his porch.

Florence has left at least 36 people dead, including 27 in North Carolina, eight in SC and one in Virginia, after 36 inches of rain fell in the area.

"You've broken all records - this is going to add 4, 5, 6 feet of water all over the state", he said. "Peoples' lives are not going to return to normal".

"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", Gov. Roy Cooper said as officials began distributing supplies to thousands of residents of Wilmington, population 120,000.

Many cities and towns in the south-east of the North Carolina remained underwater on Wednesday.

North and SC both backed Trump in the 2016 election, and the president largely saw people who were happy to greet him.

As Florence was bearing down on the Carolinas last week, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of Maria by disputing the official death toll of 2,975 in the U.S. territory, which was compiled by public health experts at George Washington University.

Experts say people likely got complacent about Hurricane Florence because of a scale that only categorises hurricanes by wind strength. Some 10,000 people remain in shelters. "All of the folks from the federal government that are around the table are confirming it". For example, excess nitrate in groundwater (that can also come from pig manure) could potentially cause what's called blue baby syndrome - a condition caused by contaminated drinking water in which nitrogen can block the ability of red blood cells to carry enough oxygen, causing a baby's skin to turn blue, according to the Times.

"You gotta take care of home", he told the Charlotte Observer on Tuesday when the team announced his personal donations.

Observers were quick to note one possible explanation for the president's interest in the area: a Trump National Golf Club is located on the shores of Lake Norman.

Trump spent the run-up to the storm focused on criticism of the federal response to a hurricane that battered Puerto Rico previous year, rejecting the official death toll of almost 3,000 and claiming Democrats manufactured the number to make him "look bad".

Then, in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, Trump infamously tossed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a supply distribution point. At the time, it seemed to reflect Trump's brand of playfulness. Four days later, he returned - and urged people at a Houston shelter to "have a good time".

He's passing out Styrofoam containers with food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit and asking how those driving through are doing. Some critics said the president's trip took on the tone of a victory lap for successful disaster management.

"I love that area", Trump responded, according to the pool account. They don't know whose boat that is.

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