President Trump praises rapid response to Irma in Florida


During Thursday's visit to Fort Meyers, Florida - much of which is still without power days after Hurricane Irma battered the region - President Trump attempted to salute the work of the thousands of men and women who worked throughout the storm to save those who were in harm's way.

"We love the people of Florida, and they went through something that I guess the likes of which we can say nobody has ever seen before", Trump said amid piles of debris and downed trees.

Trump says alongside Scott and other Florida officials that he knows "at a certain point it ends for you and we can't let it end. This has been a hard situation".

In striking a deal with Democrats last week, Trump secured billions of dollars in federal disaster relief funding, though the affected states will ultimately require exponentially more help down the road. Authorities are now reporting death toll at 31, while more than 2.5 million Americans still don't have access to power.

His trip to Florida follows two earlier outings in which Trump reviewed Harvey recovery efforts in late August. Vice President Mike Pence, who traveled separately to Florida, handed out food alongside the president and first lady.

It was the first time the president had offered such encouragement, though Trump acknowledged Thursday, "I don't know what he's going to do".

This is Trump's third visit in less than three weeks to a hurricane-damaged state.

On his second visit, to Texas and Louisiana, he was more hands-on.

It hit the Florida Keys at the weekend and made its way up the Gulf Coast before dissipating. He hewed toward hearty handshakes and enthusiastic promises rather than hugs and tears, but he was well received by people grappling with the storm.

In the city of Hollywood, north of Miami, police are investigating the deaths of eight nursing home residents.

"The job he's done is incredible", Trump said, adding that he's unsure if Scott will challenge Democratic Sen.