President Donald Trump (L) discusses the potential impact of Hurricane Michael with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (C) and FEMA Administrator Brock Long (R) in the Oval Office of the White House on Oct. 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long told President Trump Wednesday that Hurricane Michael could be the “most intense” storm to hit the Florida panhandle since 1851.
Trump met with Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at the Oval Office.
“Unfortunately, this is a Gulf Coast hurricane of the worst kind,” Brock said. “Storm surge estimates are anywhere between nine and 14 feet. Storm surge is going to be the worse where eye makes landfall — just to the east or south of where the eye makes landfall … Coupled with that you have over 145 mph winds. Structures built before 2001 are not designed to handle that type of wind, typically.”
Brock expressed concern that too many people in the path of the storm have not heeded evacuation orders.
“Yesterday we were concerned,” Brock told the President. “We did not like the level of evacuation activity that we were seeing … Unfortunately, first responders may not be able to go in and rescue those who dial 911 at this point.”
The President said some communities in the storm’s path “very poor,” making it more difficult for some to evacuate.
“It’s not so easy for some of these people to leave,” Trump said. “Some of these areas are very poor.”
Nielsen also said utility companies from 14 states were prepared to move in and begin work downed power lines once the storm has passed.
“We’ve got food supplies, food chains, we’re working with all of the states,” Trump said.
Parts of the Carolinas could experience flooding due to heavy rains, Brock said.