Trump to visit deluged Texas to survey response to storm Harvey
August 29, 2017 12:16 PM NPT
HOUSTON, August 29: U.S. President Donald Trump will visit Texas on Tuesday to survey the response to Tropical Storm Harvey, the first major natural disaster of his White House tenure.
The slow-moving storm has killed at least eight people and paralyzed Houston, the fourth most-populous U.S. city, with unprecedented flooding.
It had also roiled energy markets and caused damage estimated to be in the billions of dollars, with rebuilding likely to last beyond Trump’s current four-year term in office.
“My administration is coordinating closely with state and local authorities in Texas and Louisiana to save lives, and we thank our first responders and all of those involved in their efforts,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Trump will arrive on Tuesday morning in Corpus Christi, near where Harvey came ashore on Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years. The president will later go to the Texas capital, Austin, to meet state officials, receive briefings and tour the emergency operation center, the White House said.
Forecasters could only draw on a few comparisons to the storm, recalling Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and killed 1,800 people in 2005.
The administration of then President George W. Bush faced accusations of launching a slow and inadequate response, dealing a political blow to Bush’s presidency.
Flood damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey may equal that from Katrina, one of the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, an insurance research group said on Sunday.
In Texas, thousands of National Guard troops, police officers, rescue workers and civilians raced in helicopters, boats and high-water trucks to rescue the thousands stranded in the flooding that turned streets into rivers and caused chest-high water build-ups in scores of neighborhoods.
In Cypress, Texas, Kayla Harvey, 26, has been monitoring Facebook, finding where people are stuck and organizing friends with boats to go out and help.
“This is just what we do for our community. We don’t wait for someone to come and help we just go out and do it,” she said.