President Trump tweeted early Wednesday that his team is watching Hurricane Irma “closely,” saying the Category 5 storm looks like the “largest ever recorded in the Atlantic.”
“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 tweeted Wednesday morning. “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!”
The president was right—Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history. And the storm made landfall early Wednesday in the Caribbean Islands. The Category 5 storm had maximum sustained winds of 185 m.p.h., according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The president declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday, as weather officials warned that Irma was maintaining Category 5 strength and sustained winds, with a potential west-northwest path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott activated 100 members of the Florida National Guard to be deployed across the state, along with 7,000 National Guard members to report for duty Friday when the storm could be approaching the area. Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday in all of Florida’s 67 counties.
The president’s tweets come after he and the first lady traveled to areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Trump began in Houston—the city is still facing catastrophic flooding in the aftermath of the storm. He finished his trip in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was also hit by the storm.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on an $8.5 billion initial down payment to aid in the recovery of Hurricane Harvey, and it’s expected to pass with overwhelming support.
Also today, Trump will travel to North Dakota to discuss tax reform—one of the president’s top agenda items this fall.
“Will be going to North Dakota today to discuss tax reform and tax cuts," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "We are the highest taxed nation in the world –that will change.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.