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Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 3:45 AM
President Donald Trump joined with government officials in Florida and other southern states in warning those in the path of Hurricane Michael to take appropriate safety measures to deal with what may turn out to be the most powerful hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle.
The President was scheduled to meet late Wednesday morning with the head of FEMA and the Secretary of Homeland Security, as he expressed confidence that federal emergency officials would be up to the task.
"We're very well prepared; FEMA's ready, we're all ready," the President told reporters on Tuesday, as he said his administration's record of dealing with tropical systems was a good one.
"We've done very well - North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico," Mr. Trump added, as he rattled off areas hit by strong hurricanes in 2017 and 2018.
In September, when Hurricane Florence threatened the Carolinas, the President scrapped several campaign stops in order to deal with the federal response to the storm.
It wasn't clear if that would happen again on Wednesday - President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania this evening, and Vice President Pence is scheduled to hold two campaign events in Wisconsin for Gov. Scott Walker.
The threat of damage from Hurricane Michael isn't limited to just the Florida Panhandle, as the storm is forecast to drop a large amount of rain on areas from southern Georgia, through the Carolinas, and up into southeastern parts of Virginia.
For the Carolinas, heavy rains would hit areas still struggling to get back to normal after Hurricane Florence, which caused extensive flooding in September.
The hurricane is anticipated to make landfall near Panama City, Florida early this afternoon.
Former FEMA Director Craig Fugate, who lives in north central Florida, said those in the path of the storm need to be ready - even if you don't live near the coast.