Donald Trump promises sand for beaches in Erie, Pennsylvania

October 11, 2018

In his bid to stop Democrats from taking the House, President Trump promised Wednesday night to send tons of sand to the eroded beaches of Erie, Pennsylvania.

At a campaign rally in Erie, Mr. Trump told thousands of supporters that he’d asked Republican Rep. Mike Kelly what the city on the shores of Lake Erie needs. Mr. Kelly told him about a popular beach that was closed all summer due to lack of sand.

“We’re going to get him the sand, okay?” Mr. Trump told the cheering crowd.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced in June that it would provide $1.5 million for sand for the beaches of Presque Isle state park, a peninsula in Lake Erie. But the work started too late in the season for beachgoers; it’s expected to be finished by November.

The president also promised to get federal funding to dredge a shipping channel, another project mentioned by Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Trump campaigned in Pennsylvania despite Hurricane Michael slamming into Florida and Georgia earlier in the day. He said canceling the campaign event wouldn’t have been fair to the thousands who had waited hours in line to see him.

“I’ll be traveling to Florida very, very shortly and I just want to wish them all the best. God speed. God speed,” Mr. Trump said.

The president visited Erie to campaign for Republican House candidates and for Rep. Lou Barletta, the GOP candidate for Senate.

Mr. Trump informed the crowd that Mr. Barletta had lost a brother just a day earlier, calling it a “very strange, horrible thing.”

“He had a rough time the last few days,” the president said.

Mr. Barletta addressed the crowd but did not discuss his brother’s death. Francis Barletta, 66, of Hazleton, died on Sunday.

Trailing Democratic Sen. Robert P. Casey in polls, Mr. Barletta slammed the incumbent for vowing to vote against Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh, even before the president announced a selection.

“He started this craziness,” he said of Mr. Casey. “If you don’t like the way Justice Kavanaugh has been treated, then you can’t reward Bob Casey by sending him back to Washington.”