President Donald J. Trump leads a video teleconference monitoring current tropical storm conditions and damage assessments in southeastern Texas, Sunday, August 27, 2017, from a conference room at Camp David, near Thurmont, MD.
President Trump will visit Texas on Tuesday in the wake of catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the White House announced.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “The President will travel to Texas on Tuesday. We are coordinating logistics with state and local officials, and once details are finalized, we will let you know. We continue to keep all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers.”
The hurricane has now devolved into a tropical storm and is dumping rain on southern Texas. The National Weather Service said the final tally could top 50 inches, setting an all-time rainfall record for the state. Streets in Houston and many other cities are flooded.
Harvey came ashore late Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years and has killed at least two people. The death toll is expected to rise as the storm lashes the U.S. state for days, triggering record floods, tidal surges and tornadoes. Houston’s Bush International and William P. Hobby airports canceled all commercial flights on Sunday. Hobby had standing water on the runway and said the arrivals area was flooded.
Major refineries are closing down, cutting at least 1 million barrels per day out of production, and the Houston Ship Channel, the busiest in the nation, is closed.
The visit will be a test for the president, as it’s the first major natural disaster to strike the United States under his presidency. President George W Bush faced widespread criticism after the federal government was slow to respond in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which caused major floods in New Orleans in August 2005.