President Trump to visit Carolinas in hurricane’s aftermath

September 19, 2018

COLUMBIA. S.C. – President Donald Trump will visit the storm-ravaged Carolinas on Wednesday.

A White House spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Trump would travel to North Carolina, where he will be joined by U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, whose district includes many of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Florence, including Wilmington.

The president also will go to South Carolina, where he will be accompanied by the state’s Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, spokesmen for both lawmakers said.

While the White House spokesman would not say where in South Carolina Trump would visit, a source familiar with the trip’s planning told The State on Monday that Trump is set to visit Horry County with a stop in the Conway area.

And according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website, VIP movement is expected Wednesday in the Myrtle Beach area, too.

“Pilots can expect airspace restrictions in conjunction with this VIP movement,” the FAA notice states.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday that he didn’t yet know if the president planned to visit the state.

“We don’t know. We’d love to have them,” McMaster said. “I’ll tell you what, though, we are delighted to have had the attention and communication with President Trump and with (his) administration — officials and Cabinet members.

“I think virtually all of them have been in communication numerous times. I know the President’s office has called … (state) Rep. Richie Yow (R-Chesterfield) and the (Chesterfield County) sheriff, I think three times in the last couple of days. There’s constant communication, and that’s something that’s very important.”

Flooding and downed trees from Florence were blocking dozens of roads in and around Wilmington on Monday, leaving the coastal city largely cut off from the rest of the state, according to a story from The News & Observer of Raleigh. The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Monday that one road to Wilmington was open.

Conway and other Horry County communities near the Waccamaw River are experiencing historic flooding that is expected to worsen over the next week.

City and county officials fear the area also might become inaccessible if the flooding reaches three feet above levels seen with Hurricane Matthew, flooding levels that forecasters are predicting.

Update hourly