As President Trump visits flood-soaked North Carolina Wednesday, he'll get a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

Trump will visit Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in eastern North Carolina, where he's expected to participate in a roundtable briefing. The military base is not far from New Bern, one of the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Florence and its aftermath.

In a video released by the White House Tuesday night, Trump expressed condolences and thanked first responders for their efforts to save lives, while describing Florence as a particularly difficult storm.

"This is a tough hurricane, one of the wettest we've ever seen from the standpoint of water," Trump said. "Rarely have we had an experience like it, and it certainly is not good."

As Trump visits North Carolina, residents hit hard by the storm will be looking to the federal government for help recovering and rebuilding. Around a quarter of a million people remain without power, and sections of several major roadways remain impassable. Dozens of shelters remain open across the state, and several rivers have yet to crest.

In New Bern, the reception to Trump's visit has been largely positive, according to NPR's Brian Mann. The president is arriving under blue skies as the city begins to dig out from the flood. Several truck drivers who were bringing in water and other supplies told Mann they see the president's visit as a sign that he is paying attention and that the recovery effort is on track, some describing him as a "hands-on president."

In Fayetteville, a city in central North Carolina where the Cape Fear River crested early Wednesday morning, hundreds of residents remain in shelters and county officials have confirmed at least two deaths.

Adrienne Murphy, 38, has been staying with relatives on higher ground after being evacuated from her home near the river. She told NPR she hopes President Trump will make sure that federal agencies respond quickly to help residents in crisis as the waters recede.

Murphy said many in the community were displaced from their homes for months after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Some struggled to afford food in the immediate aftermath of the storm, she said.

Murphy said her message for President Trump as he visits the state is, "Next week is a long time – you have to act now."

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