Obama Cuts vacation short due to Irene
President Obama decided midday Friday to cut short his family vacation and fly back to Washington in the evening to direct Hurricane Irene response efforts, the White House announced today. He had previously planned to return by midday Saturday.
The president alerted his staff that he and his family would depart early from Martha’s Vineyard after he made brief public remarks warning East Coast populations to heed evacuation orders and to take seriously advice to prepare for severe conditions in the next few days, a White House spokesman told reporters.
“All indications point to this being a historic hurricane,” Obama warned Americans during a three-minute speech delivered at the secluded compound he and his family have enjoyed since Aug. 18. “All of us have to take this storm seriously. You need to listen to your state and local officials, and if you are given an evacuation order, please follow it.”