President Donald Trump arrived Wednesday in North Carolina to see the destruction left by Hurricane Florence and the challenging relief efforts that are underway.
â€œWe will never forget your loss, we will never leave your side. We are with you all the way. And to all those impacted by this entire storm our entire American family is with you and ready to help and you will recover,â€ Trump said shortly after arriving at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Trump went to the storm-ravaged town of New Bern, where he handed out meals and mingled with residents.
â€œHowâ€™s the house?â€ Trump asked one person and added, â€œTake care of yourself.â€ Trump told another person who waited in line for a meal to â€œhave a good time.â€
Trump also asked about an area northeast of the city of Charlotte, where he owns a golf course. â€œHowâ€™s Lake Norman doing,â€ Trump inquired. â€œI love that area. I canâ€™t tell you why, but I love that area.â€
The death toll rose to 37 after two women drowned when a sheriffâ€™s van taking them to a mental health facility was swept off the road. The deputies managed to escape.
Florence has left entire towns in North Carolina flooded with muddy, fetid water. Officials across the state are cautioning residents that more floods are expected this week.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said 16 rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday with three more expected to peak by Thursday.