President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday handed out meals to Carolina residents and promised “100 percent” support of the federal government to victims of Hurricane Florence.

“Washington is with you. Trump is with you,” the president said during a briefing at emergency operations headquarters in Conway, South Carolina.

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Trump began his tour of the storm-damaged region in worst-hit North Carolina, flying into Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point aboard Air Force One.

“Some of the floodings is actually epic,” Trump said at a news conference. “We’ve seen all the pictures where houses are literally covered beyond the roof.”

From Cherry Point, Trump traveled to New Bern, North Carolina, a town at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers that suffered severe flooding.

“We’re giving you a lot of help,” Trump told one resident as he walked along River Drive in a low-lying neighbourhood of New Bern made up of brick and clapboard houses.

Trump pledged federal assistance as the Carolinas begin the long recovery from a storm estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage and left dozens dead.

“Whatever we have to do at the federal level we’ll be there,” Trump said. “We will be there 100 percent.”

The president offered his condolences for the nearly 40 people killed by the storm.

“America grieves with you and our hearts break for you… We will never forget your loss, we will never leave your side. We are with you all the way,” he said.