- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

President Trump announced Tuesday that he will visit Puerto Rico next week to survey the severe damage from Hurricane Maria.

Mr. Trump said the visit scheduled for next Tuesday is the earliest he can travel to the island due to the extent of the damage and concerns that his visit would interfere with recovery efforts.

“Tuesday seems to be the first time we can do it and not disrupt the first responders,” he said.

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm Sept. 18, crippling the U.S. territory and killing at least 16 people there.

He describing the island as “literally destroyed” but expressed confidence that it would fully recover.

“They’ll be back,” he said, adding that the people of Puerto Rico “are important to all of us.”

“Puerto Rico has tremendous problems with floods and with damage and with collapse. We are still looking for people,” Mr. Trump said.

The president commended the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which he said was landing water, food and supplies on an hourly basis on the island.

Mr. Trump said that during the trip he may also visit the Virgin Islands, which also were hit hard by Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma.

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