President Trump: "America 'United" as Hurricane Irma Approaches

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The president also took a moment to recognize the United States Coast Guard: "No brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard, and FEMA, the entire group, FEMA has been incredible".

The White House released photos of a Hurricane Irma briefing briefing on Sunday afternoon attended by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania, VP Mike Pence and wife Karen, joined by several Cabinet members.

The Palm Beach Post reported that in 2004, Trump, who was then a real estate mogul and enjoying the beginning of his "Apprentice" run, spoke about how Mar-a-Lago dealt with Hurricane Frances.

"We are doing everything we can to help with disaster preparations and, when the time comes, recover and rebuild together as Americans".

Guest are being told to leave the Palm Beach resort, as up to six million people living in the impact zone across the sunshine state prepare for the Category 4 storm.

Mar-A-Lago is located in an area that has been placed under storm surge warning.

"That house has never been seriously damaged", Trump's former butler told the Associated Press a year ago, describing the estate's past luck with hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Jose forms east of Hurricane Irma
Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are. Forecasters say Jose's wind speeds are expected to accelerate as it moves north-northwesterly in the next two days.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott strongly urges people to evacuate if asked to do so by local officials.

Given its sheer size and strength - and its projected course - Irma could prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida and inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

As many as 5.6 million people have been evacuated after Irma's landfall in Cuba. He said Irma was risky and life-threatening, and pleaded with people in the storm's path to "heed the warnings" of local officials.

The hurricane first made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9.10am with top sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour.

The storm winds downed at least one construction crane and shook tall buildings in Miami, which was about 100 miles (160 km) from Irma's core. "What they've done, I mean, they're going right into that, and you never know".

Irma will be the second hurricane to sweep through the U.S.in recent weeks, after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas and later Louisiana, leaving a trail of devastation. Nearly three months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November.

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