President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his hurricane response team is turning part of its attention from the devastation in Texas to Hurricane Irma, which is threatening to wreak havoc on Puerto Rico and Florida in the coming days.
“Watching Hurricane closely. My team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida. No rest for the weary!” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Later in the morning, in brief remarks at a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office, the president added that the storm “looks like it could be something that will be not good.”
“Believe me, not good,” he added. He said he and the congressional leaders would discuss the storm and its possible landfall in Florida and Puerto Rico.
The president has been especially involved in hurricane response over the last two weeks, making two trips to the Gulf Coast to survey damage from Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, as a category 4 storm and then moved on to Houston, where it set off historic levels of flooding and left dozens dead.
Hurricane Irma’s forecasted direction remains uncertain, with models predicting different tracks for the storm, but its 185-mile-per-hour winds make it one of the most powerful storms in the history of the Atlantic Ocean.
“Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!” the president wrote online of the Category 5 storm.
Trump issued emergency declarations for Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday evening as the storm barreled toward the Caribbean.
As Florida prepared for the storm earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott said he had spoken with the president and that Trump had promised to support the state with needed federal resources.
Scott declared a state of emergency for every Florida county last week in anticipation of the storm, and the state has issued evacuation orders for parts of the state, like the Florida Keys. Residents near the coast have been stocking up on food and water and preparing their homes for a possible landfall.
Trump appeared to relish leading the federal disaster response when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, and he may now be tasked with taking on that role again if Irma makes landfall in the U.S.
The president and Republican leaders are already looking at a daunting September to-do list, including funding the government to avert a shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, in addition to moving forward with tax reform and possibly making another push to repeal Obamacare.