WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will visit hurricane devastated Puerto Rico next Tuesday amid desperate pleas from the U.S. territory for more help.
The president told reporters that next week would be the earliest he could get to the island nation without interfering with relief efforts following Hurricane Maria.
"We have shipped massive amounts of food and water and supplies to Puerto Rico and we are continuing to do so on an hourly basis," Trump said. "But that island was hit as hard as you can be hit."
The governor of Puerto Rico has called on Washington to provide more help in recovering from the devastating storm. Residents there report dire conditions and say they feel they have been forgotten by the U.S. government.
"Puerto Rico is very important to me and the people are fantastic people. I grew up in New York so I know many people from Puerto Rico," the president said.
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last Wednesday with sustained winds of more than 155 mph. Much of the island remains without power, running water, gasoline and cell service.
Trump said he may also visit the U.S. Virgin Islands during the trip.