Aug. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said he canceled a scheduled trip to Poland so he could remain in Washington to monitor Hurricane Dorian as it is forecast to make landfall in Florida over the holiday weekend.
The president was scheduled to attend a ceremony in the central European country to commemorate the start of the Second World War over the weekend, but will be sending Vice President Mike Pence in his stead, he said.
"To ensure that all resources of the federal government are focused on the arriving storm, I have decided to send our vice president, Mike Pence, to Poland this weekend, in my place," Trump said Thursday from the Rose Garden during a press conference announcing the nation's new space command program. "It's something very important for me to be here. This storm looks like it could be a very, very big one indeed."
The National Hurricane Center said during its Thursday, 11 p.m., advisory that the storm had strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane and could make landfall as a major hurricane during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Trump said he spoke with Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, to express the United State's warm wishes.
"Our highest priority is the safety and security of the people in the path of the hurricane, and I will be rescheduling my trip to Poland in the near future," he said.
Later Thursday, he tweeted a short video in which he warned residents on the path of Hurricane Dorian that they may have to evacuate as it is now "looking like it could be an absolute monster."
In a separate tweet, he said it appears that Dorian will hit Florida Sunday night and residents should follow state and federal instructions.
"Hopefully we'll get lucky but it looks to me like this time, it's heading in one direction," he said. "All indications are it's going to hit very hard and it's going to be very big."
They had also accepted an invitation to visit Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark. However, he canceled the Denmark leg of the trip earlier this month following a spat with the country's prime minister.