Trump declares state of emergency in Virginia ahead of Hurricane Florence

Trump declares state of emergency in Virginia ahead of Hurricane Florence
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

The president's declaration, which makes federal assistance available to bolster state and local response efforts, comes less than 24 hours after he announced a state of emergency in North and South Carolina.

Virginia's congressional delegation urged Trump on Monday to issue such a declaration to assist with the commonwealth's emergency response.

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Hurricane Florence strengthened to a category 4 storm on Monday as it barreled toward the mid-Atlantic. The storm is expected to make landfall this week near the Carolinas, and progress into Virginia and along the Atlantic coast.

Governors in all three states have issued orders to evacuate for residents in certain areas as the storm approaches.

Trump said earlier Tuesday that his administration is "absolutely and totally prepared" to respond to the hurricane.

"Everybody is ready," Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews after returning from a Sept. 11 memorial event in Pennsylvania.

The impending storm, which Trump has warned about on Twitter, forced the president to cancel two campaign rallies this week: one in Mississippi and one in Missouri.

The Trump administration drew criticism last year for its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, but received better reviews for its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma.