Gov. Cooper, President Trump meet in NC to assess Florence damage
Posted September 19, 2018 8:35 a.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2018 7:06 p.m. EDT
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President Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina Wednesday morning to tour areas affected by Hurricane Florence.
Air Force One landed at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point in Havelock at about 10:30 a.m. From there, the president joined North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to provide a briefing on the Hurricane Florence recovery effort.
"To all those impacted by this terrible storm our entire American family with with you and is ready to help," Trump said. "To the families that have lost loved ones, America grieves with you."
Trump thanked the governor and state officials for their preparedness for Florence and said, "Whatever we have to do at the federal level, we will be there and you know that 100 percent."
He said, "There will be nothing left undone. You'll have everything you need."
By 11:45 a.m., the president and Cooper arrived at New Bern’s Temple Baptist Church to help volunteers with Baptists on Mission hand out hot meals to people in need.
"How's the house?" Trump was heard asking one person as distributed plastic foam containers of food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit. "You take care of yourself."
Carolyn Spikes called the hot meal a "miracle meal."
One chaplain with Baptists on Mission said she got a kiss from the president.
“I seized the moment,” she said. “I honor the office of the president regardless of who that person is.” She also thanked members of the National Guard for their rescues and help in the area.
Pastor Jim Pennington said the president's visit was fantastic.
"The focus is going to come here because we want the word going out...that we can use your help," he said.
After lunch, Trump also spent time walking along River Drive in New Bern, a low-lying neighborhood of brick and clapboard houses that was swamped by the rising waters of the Neuse River.
“We’re giving you a lot of help,” Trump said to one resident.
Craven County officials said more than 4,000 homes in the county were impacted by the storm, including flood and wind damage.
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7) joined Trump in his visit. Rouzer's district includes much of the area damaged by the storm, including Wilmington and Goldsboro.
President Trump also made a stop in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina on Wednesday afternoon.
Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina are expected to fly on Air Force One with Trump.