The Latest: Trump hears from Georgia farmers on hurricane

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One for a trip to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to areas hit by Hurricane Michael (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has heard from Georgia farmers whose crops were wiped out by Hurricane Michael.

Trump on Monday visited a farm near Macon where fourth-generation farmer Kevin Rentz grows cotton and peanuts. Rentz said he lost 100 percent of his cotton crop. He says they’re still digging up peanuts but the problem is finding someplace to take them, given the power outages.

Another farmer, Clay Pickle, said he went from his “best crop to no crop in six hours.” Pickle says cotton was his best crop.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says damage to pecan groves in southwest Georgia will be felt for generations. Perdue says pecan trees typically bear nuts about seven years after planting but don’t become profitable for about a decade. Perdue called the situation “heartbreaking.”

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This item has been corrected to show the farmer’s last name is Pickle, not Pirkle.

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4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in Georgia to survey damage by Hurricane Michael.

The president and first lady Melania Trump arrived at Robins Air Force Base on Monday afternoon. State and local officials were to brief the president at the base.

The White House says Trump then plans to visit a farm and meet farmers who lost crops after the powerful storm raced through Georgia last week on its way to the Carolinas and Virginia after first dealing a crushing blow to the Florida Panhandle.

Trump flew to Georgia from Florida, where he surveyed hurricane damage in several Panhandle communities by air, land and foot.

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1:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is marveling at the hurricane damage he’s seen while touring devastated Florida Panhandle communities.

Trump and his wife, Melania, visited a FEMA aid distribution center Monday in the city of Lynn Haven. People there were signing up for temporary housing and picking up clothing, diapers, water and other supplies. Trump says someone described Hurricane Michael to him as being “like a very wide – extremely wide – tornado.”

He also marveled at how massive trees were “just ripped out of the earth.” Said Trump: “This is really incredible.”

The president and first lady also help distribute cases of bottled water and chatted with residents.

A woman in a green Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt thanked the first lady for her anti-bullying campaign.

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Noon

President Donald Trump got a bird’s-eye view of Florida Panhandle communities shattered by Hurricane Michael.

The president initially saw uprooted trees and houses with blue tarps covering damaged roofs after taking off from Eglin Air Force Base by helicopter. But the severity of the damage worsened as Trump approached the town of Mexico Beach. Reporters trailed him in a separate helicopter.

A water tower lay on its side. Eighteen-wheelers were scattered in a parking lot like children’s toys. Many houses had no roofs or had been ripped from their foundations.

Trump also saw Tyndall Air Force Base, which was heavily damaged by Michael.

The president is back on the ground near Panama City after the nearly hour-long aerial tour.

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11 a.m.

President Donald Trump is praising Florida Gov. Rick Scott for his response to Hurricane Michael.

Scott greeted Trump when he arrived in Florida on Monday to get his first up-close look at the devastation the storm caused along the Florida Panhandle.

Trump says “the job they’ve done is Florida has been incredible.” He also thanked Scott and told him he’s a “great governor.”

Scott says he’s gotten everything he’s asked for from the federal government.

The Florida Panhandle took a direct hit from Michael. More than 190,000 homes and businesses in Florida remain without electricity. Trump praised electric company crews for helping restore some power.

Trump and his wife, Melania, were headed out on an aerial tour of affected areas.

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10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived in Florida to survey damage in the state as well in Georgia from Hurricane Michael.

Trump landed Monday at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso. The White House has not identified the communities Trump will visit.

The president tweeted before leaving the White House that he will meet with law enforcement and government officials aiding the massive recovery effort. He said “maximum effort is taking place, everyone is working very hard. Worst hit in 50 years!”

The Florida Panhandle took a direct hit from Michael. More than 190,000 homes and businesses in Florida remain without electricity, along with about 120,000 homes and businesses in Georgia.

The death toll stood at 17, including one confirmed death in Florida.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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