Remarks by President Trump and Governor Ivey During Lee County Tour

Lee Road 38
Opelika, Alabama
March 8, 2019
12:05 P.M. CST
Q    Mr. President, what did you see from the air?
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I saw this.  It’s hard to believe, actually.  And I guess the fact that we went very early helped; it helped a lot of people.  But we saw things that you wouldn’t believe.  Here it is.  You saw the same thing.  Kathrine has done an incredible job and the Governor has done an incredible job, and we really appreciate it.  We really appreciate it.
GOVERNOR IVEY:  We thank you and the First Lady for taking time to come and show how important it is for people to work together and stand up together.  And when we do that together, we wind up being stronger together.  So you all are setting the bar pretty high, and we thank you for that.
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.
GOVERNOR IVEY:  Volunteer support has been impressive.  Over 1,200 folks have already volunteered from all over the state, and they’ll continue.
THE PRESIDENT:  They’ve done an incredible job, but I want to thank FEMA — all of our people from FEMA.  They’ve been very quick acting, Kathrine.
DIRECTOR CARSON:  We’ve had — we have at least 200 here in Lee County, and they came to the EOC and they are willing to work and do anything they can for these people.  So we appreciate that very much.
But the support that we’ve had from the state and locals — our local responders and the Sheriff has all been — it’s just unimaginable.  Director Brian Hastings has been with me the entire time.
And, you know, one of the things — you can’t afford to staff enough people to manage something like this all the time, so it’s sometimes difficult for a local EMA to grow big enough, fast enough.  And how you do it is through the governors telling them, “Do whatever you have to do.”  And I got word early on from the Governor that you said, “Whatever they need, give it to them.”  And that’s how we grow it.
GOVERNOR IVEY:  Mr. President called me on Monday morning — about 8:15 a.m., Alabama time — and told us that you all were thinking about us and if there was anything that he could do.  And I said, “Well, as a matter of fact there is.”  They’re working with FEMA to — well, to make that emergency disaster approval.  And you responded quite favorably.  And so FEMA has been right on top of things from day one.
GOVERNOR IVEY:  And we are grateful.
THE PRESIDENT:  Let’s go take a look.  Thank you, fellas.  Thank you.
12:07 P.M. CST
Providence Baptist Church Annex Building
Opelika, Alabama
12:58 P.M. CST
THE PRESIDENT:  I just want to thank everybody.  It’s been an incredible ordeal, what you’ve gone through.  The first responders have been — so many first responders right here, and you’ve been incredible.  Law enforcement has been incredible.  And, frankly, you didn’t need law enforcement, but they’ve done it so great.  They all just chipped in and helped everybody.  It’s love.  It’s great love.
Your governor is here with us, your senators are here right now with us, and Secretary Nielsen — and we’ve just said the A-plus job.  We’re going to take care of — FEMA is here and doing an incredible job.  I think you know that.  And we said we’re going to just lay it out.  These are incredible people.
We just met some of the survivors and family members, and what they’ve been through is incredible.  One woman lost 10 people in her family, and — an incredible woman.  And she — I said, “How — how did it go?”  She said, “I lost 10.  Ten people.”  And a couple of others lost two and three.  I’ve never seen anything like it.
I just want to thank you.  On behalf of the First Lady and myself, I want to thank you for the job you do.  You’re incredible people.  We couldn’t get here fast enough.  I wanted to come the day it happened, but I spoke with the Governor, and she said, “Just give us a little more time.  We need a little more time.”
And already, the job is really great — the job you’ve done.  So thank you very much.  FEMA is laying it out.  They’re all here.  They’re all heart.  A lot of folks coming in.  A lot of folks coming in.  And so, Secretary, I want to thank you for a great job, and thank all of the folks at FEMA.  And tell them to stay as long as they have to stay, whatever it is.
Also a lot of the folks get aid, and we’re providing all of the aid.  So you’ll see the FEMA people; let them know as soon as you can so they know that, because a lot of people don’t know that.  And they really need aid, in this case.
And, again, we love you all.  We thank you all.  We love the state of Alabama.  Georgia got hit a little bit, and we’re going to be talking about that later.  We met the Governor; we met with Brian a little while ago.  He’s very engaged, I can tell you that.
Thank you very much everybody on behalf of the country and on behalf of the United States.  We want to thank you very much.  (Applause.)
1:00 P.M. CST
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