News & Politics

Trump Cancels Mississippi Rally as Hurricane Florence Bears Down on Coast

As Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen and bear down on the East Coast, President Trump’s campaign announced on Monday that a “Make America Great Again” rally in Jackson, Miss., scheduled for Friday has been canceled.

The Trump campaign said the cancelation was the “safest decision” in light of the current weather conditions.

“Regrettably, we must cancel the planned Make America Great Again Rally in Jackson,” said Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for Donald J. Trump for President Inc. “With Hurricane Florence on its way, we determined that this was the safest decision.”

The National Hurricane Center announced Monday afternoon that Florence had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. “Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb (27.93 inches),” the NHC announced on Twitter.

The NHC warned of a “life-threatening storm surge” that could hit the Carolinas and Virginia in addition to flooding and “hurricane-force winds.” States of emergency have been declared in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia.

While Mississippi is not directly in the path of Florence, there are currently three hurricanes swirling around the Atlantic and a new tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, so the state is likely in for some inclement — and possibly life-threatening — weather conditions.

Satellite images show the storm intensifying:

Jennifer Dunagin, communications director for the Mississippi Republican Party, remarked on the cancelation early Monday afternoon. “We received confirmation from the White House this morning that the Trump rally has been cancelled due to the projected hurricane threat to the East Coast,” she said, adding that no decision has been made about rescheduling the rally.

An email from Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R-Miss.) campaign regretfully announced the cancelation, but said that while Hyde-Smith is “honored to have President Trump’s endorsement and support in this year’s election… we agree with the decision to cancel this Friday’s rally.”

“Mississippi residents understand what it’s like to prepare for, endure and recover from a major hurricane. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the path of the storm,” her campaign said.