As Hurricane Dorian moved up the eastern seaboard on Wednesday, avoiding a direct hit on the Florida coastline, American Coast Guard and military assets were quickly trying to extend aid to thousands of people on a string of islands in the Bahamas, whose homes and communities were devastated by Dorian in the past few days.
"They've got a situation in the Bahamas that few have seen before," President Donald Trump told reporters after a hurricane briefing in the Oval Office.
"It's tough," the President added. "It's a tremendous tragedy.”
As the winds died down over the Bahamas, the U.S. Coast Guard was already flying into the region to help with supplies and possible rescues, as the Pentagon was also stepping in with aid as well.
"We're sending some people to give them a hand - and they need a big hand," Mr. Trump added, when asked about the damage in the Bahamas, as the British government was sending naval assets as well.
“We're taking food in,” the President said, “because that was a very hard hit.”
"What's going on over there is incredible. Few people have seen anything like that," the President said of the damage.
And as more and more videos arrived from the Bahamas, it was clear the devastation from Dorian was on a massive scale.
“Thank you to our US Coast Guard for all your heroic work during these hurricanes,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ).
“Floridians are ready to help,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “Any supplies being shipped or brought by boat will be exempt from duties and fees.”
Scott and fellow GOP Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Trump, asking him to temporarily relax visa requirements for people from the Bahamas, to allow many to enter the United States and stay with family.
"Floridians are now eager to help their family and friends in the Bahamas," the two Senators wrote in a letter to the President.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.