U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence are greeted by supporters as they tour flood damage in Louisiana. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate arrived Baton Rouge on Friday to survey the damage after recent deadly floods in Louisiana, despite calls from the state's governor advising against any touring of the area. Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards' office said Trump had not called to discuss plans to visit, but that the New York businessman was welcome to volunteer or make a sizable donation toward helping victims. "We welcome him to (Louisiana), but not for a photo op," the statement said. "Instead we hope he'll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm." Some 40,000 homes were damaged and at least 13 people died after a deluge of more than 2.5 feet of rain (0.76 meters), described as the worst U.S. storm since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic rival in the Nov. 8 presidential election, said in a Twitter post earlier this week she was closely monitoring the situation and directed people to the Red Cross. Representatives for Trump's campaign, which canceled a roundtable discussion on immigration in New York to make the trip, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump and running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence were planning to meet with families in the flood-hit areas, according to Fox News. Television footage showed Pence and his wife speaking with officials after landing on the tarmac in Baton Rouge. Some people in the southern state have urged U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short a vacation in Martha's Vineyard in order to visit Louisiana and view the devastation. Obama's vacation is due to end on Sunday. Although waters have receded in many deluged areas, some areas around Lafayette, in the southwestern part of the state, are now experiencing major flooding as the water moves, according to the National Weather Service. Thousands of people must now contend with flood-hit homes, and many have lost almost everything they owned. About 4,000 people were in shelters, according to state officials. The Red Cross has said recovery efforts will cost at least $30 million.