Just hours before Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit the coast of Florida and travel up the east coast, Republican nominee Donald Trump issued a statement about the storm in a press release and on Twitter, urging people to evacuate and focus on safety.
Trump stated in the press release:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew, namely in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and we encourage everyone to listen to their Governors and local emergency officials urging the evacuations of at-risk coastal communities. These warnings are very, very serious – if your home is in the path of the hurricane and you are being advised to leave, you need to do so right now. Nothing is more important than the safety of your family.
I would also like to offer my thanks to the law enforcement, first responders and power crews making the necessary preparations for the storm and carrying out their plans to help our communities survive and recover in the aftermath.
I also want to extend my personal condolences to those families in Haiti who lost loved ones as this storm tore through their island. The news reports that over a hundred people are feared dead saddens us all, and the United States should offer our assistance to help our island neighbors.
“Please stay safe,” Trump concluded.
Trump also posted about the storm on Twitter shortly after midnight on Thursday.
Praying for everyone in Florida. Hoping the hurricane dissipates, but in any event, please be careful.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2016
His opponent, Hillary Clinton, also took to Twitter to urge people to evacuate.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 6, 2016