President Trump says federal government is ready to respond to Hurricane Florence

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump says the safety of the American people is his "absolute highest priority" as Hurricane Florence takes aim at portions of the East Coast.

Trump was being briefed by the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

He says the federal government is ready to respond to the Category 4 storm.

FEMA administrator Brock Long is warning that the hurricane will be a "devastating event" and urging Americans to evacuate if they've been asked to leave their homes. He says electric power could be out for weeks.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and South Carolina and Virginia, and canceled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.

**TRACK HURRICANE FLORENCE**

**Continuing coverage on the powerful storm**