U.S. President Donald Trump toured New Bern, N.C. on Wednesday — a city of 30,000 that was hit particularly hard by Florence, a storm system whose storm surge raised river levels by up to three metres above normal and flooded the area from three directions.
It’s a city where the storm blew so strong that boats became stranded on railroad tracks and even people’s front yards.
Trump came face to face with one such boat — a yacht that had washed up against a house in its backyard.
Coverage of Florence on Globalnews.ca:
“Is this your boat?” the president asked a man who lived in the home, according to a pool report cited by the Washington Post.
Then Trump took a longer look at the vessel.
“At least you got a nice boat out of the deal,” he said, smiling, according to the Post.
“What’s the law? Maybe it becomes theirs.”
That wasn’t all that Trump said on his visit.
At one point he handed food to someone and said, “have a good time.”
He also asked about Lake Norman — where he owns the Trump National Golf Club Charlotte.
“I can’t tell you why, but I love that area,” the president told officials.
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In Conway, S.C., he walked through a neighbourhood where a street was under water.
He asked if everyone was OK, then said it was “going to be OK.”
Trump then returned to the White House and praised the “tremendous talent and spirit” of people taking up the “ongoing fight against Hurricane Florence.”
Florence has killed at least 35 people — 26 deaths happened in North Carolina, while another eight happened in South Carolina.
In South Carolina, reports have emerged suggesting that two deaths were mental health patients who drowned after a van they were travelling in crashed.
- With files from Reuters and The Associated Press
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