Trump praises Florida governor’s ‘incredible’ response to Hurricane Michael

This satellite image taken on Friday shows part of Mexico Beach after the storm swept through

"Rick Scott, your governor, has done an incredible job, and all of your people have been awesome - working with FEMA, working with the first responders, and always law enforcement", Trump said before boarding a helicopter to survey the storm-damaged areas. "I have two dogs and a parrot", Rollins told the president.

Trump toured devastated coastal communities by air, land and foot before he and the first lady helped hand out bottled water at a Federal Emergency Management Agency aid distribution center, where the needy signed up for temporary housing and picked up clothing, diapers, water and other supplies.

As of Sunday, more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Florida were without electricity, along with about 120,000 in Georgia. Trump paused his election-season campaign blitz for the visit, largely - but not completely - putting politics on the backburner for the day. Eighteen-wheelers were scattered in a parking lot like children's toys.

The number of dead was expected to rise, but authorities scrapped plans for setting up a temporary morgue, indicating they had yet to see signs of mass casualties from the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental almost 50 years.

"It was nearly like a giant tornado - a really wide tornado", the president said in describing the hurricane. "Beyond any winds that they've seen", Trump said.

Reporters trailing Mr. Trump flew over Panama City and Mexico Beach and observed thousands of uprooted trees stacked in uneven rows, homes with roofs ripped open or missing completely. "This is really incredible", Trump said. "This road - five hours ago, you couldn't ride on it".

Florida First Lady Ann Scott announced in a video message that she would be stepping in on behalf of her husband, GOP Gov. Rick Scott, on the Senate campaign trail indefinitely.

Trump also saw Tyndall Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by the storm. On the drive toward Panama City, the president could see houses smashed by trees, bent billboards and a demolished trailer park.

Meanwhile, with power poles and lines down everywhere, power crews were hard at work trying to fix the damage.

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"We're working on it".

Lewis' crew, the Salty Water Rescue Services, which is made up local law enforcement and fire rescue officials from Cocoa Beach, found a woman in her 80s who had no food and just a few bottles of water left.

An 11-year-old girl died in Georgia when a metal carport, blown about by high winds, came crashing through her family's roof.

Ms Albrecht said: "We expect to find everybody, because that's our mentality". "Steel beams started coming through the hotel windows and through the walls".

Trump met with a group of pecan, cotton and soybean farmers at Charlie Stewart Farms, a soybean farm in Macon, Georgia, Monday evening. He said he watched them "cry out in joy".

Trump tried to reassure the farmers, asking whether they had insurance and promising that electricity would be restored soon. You're a great governor.

Before he left, the president told reporters he had spoken with Saudi Arabia's king, who vehemently denies any knowledge about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

On Monday, President Donald Trump plans to visit Florida and Georgia and see the recovery effort for himself. The first lady stood beside the president as he talked with residents.

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