President Trump on Tuesday assured Texans slammed by Tropical Storm Harvey that “we are here to take care of you” and promised a “better than ever before” relief effort, as he visited the state while rescuers continued to pull people from submerged homes.
During visits first to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, southwest of the worst-hit areas of Houston and its environs, and then to the state capital of Austin, Trump repeatedly praised federal, state and local officials. But he said little about victims who had lost their homes and loved ones to the historic storm.
“The world is watching and the world is very impressed with what you are doing,” Trump told officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety operations center in Austin who were coordinating rescue and shelter operations as rain continued to fall and water continued to swell in flood zones.
Perhaps more welcome than praise was the president’s promise of unspecified federal aid. “We are working with Congress on helping out the state of Texas; it’s going to be a costly proposition,” Trump said, nodding at Texas’ two U.S. senators and several House members, all Republicans, who joined him.
“Probably there’s never been anything so expensive in our country’s history,” he added.
Click here to read more from The Los Angeles Times.
President Trump landed in storm-brushed Corpus Christi on Tuesday morning to see for himself some of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey and demonstrate his personal commitment to a region still in the grips of a historic natural disaster.
Mr. Trump, who pushed aides to schedule a visit to Texas as early as possible after Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, on Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane, initially considered touring San Antonio, which is outside the most hard-hit areas. But he settled on Corpus Christi because it was 30 miles away from the most severely impacted parts of the Gulf Coast, and suffered relatively light damage from the initial impact of the storm.
“It’s a real team, and we want to do it better than ever before,” Mr. Trump said of the response effort during a meeting with officials from local, state and federal agencies in a Corpus Christi firehouse. “We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it.”
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, sitting next to the president, sought to allay concerns about the situation at the convention center in downtown Houston, where 9,000 residents fleeing rising floodwaters have crammed into a makeshift shelter designed to accommodate 5,000.
Click here to read more from The New York Times.
8:30 am: With First Lady Melania Trump, departs White House
9:30 am: Speaks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore by telephone; Air Force One
11:25 am CT: Arrives Corpus Christi, Texas
Noon CT: Receives a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with local leadership and relief organizations; Fire Station 5
1:30 pm CT: Departs Corpus Christi
2:25 pm CT: Arrives Austin, Texas
3:00 pm CT: Participates in a tour of the Emergency Operations Center; Austin
3:15 pm CT: Receives a briefing on Hurricane Harvey with State leadership; Governor’s Briefing Room – Texas Department of Public Safety Emergency Operations Center, Austin
4:20 pm CT: Departs Austin
8:30 pm: Arrives White House