President Trump and Vice President Pence were briefed early Sunday as Hurricane Irma struck Florida as a Category 4 storm, the White House said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump spoke with the governors of Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Those states are expected to be impacted by the storm after it makes its way up the west coast of Florida.
The president has had several calls with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the past week, Sanders added.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also spoke with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), she said.
Scott said Sunday that he has been in constant communication with Trump.
“The president said, ‘look I will provide whatever resources you need,’ when I talked to him. I pretty much talk to him every day,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long also praised the White House and Congress’s response to the storm.
“There’s great communication between the White House and the Congress in regards to emergency management,” Long said.
Trump was also briefed on the storm on Saturday, and emphasized the federal government’s preparations.
“We’re prepared. We’re as prepared as you can be for such an event,” Trump said.
“This is a storm of enormous, destructive power, and I ask everyone in the storm path to heed all instructions. Get out of its way,” he continued. “Property is replaceable, but lives are not and safety has to come first.”
Irma slammed into Cudjoe Key around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph after gaining strength in the Atlantic overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Keys can expect 10 to 20 inches of rain, while the rest of the state’s peninsula could get 8 to 15 inches.
Over 6 million people have been evacuated from the state’s low-lying coastal and southern areas.
Florida opened over 400 shelters ahead of the storm.