President Donald Trump arrived in Corpus Christi Tuesday morning to assess statewide recovery efforts in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey over the weekend.
Since its landfall in Rockport Friday night, Harvey has claimed at least 10 lives and caused property damage in the tens of billions of dollars.
At a briefing in the Annaville Fire Department, Gov. Greg Abbott praised the president’s response to the event. Trump was then updated on both state and local efforts currently underway.
“This is a very special place in a special state,” Trump said at the briefing. Select media outlets were given access to the event.
“This was of epic proportion,” Trump said. “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this. And I just want to say working with the governor and his entire team has been an honor for us.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long updated the president on the agency’s meal and water distribution program in Rockport, as well as ongoing life-saving and disaster relief missions in Houston.
Joining the president and governor in the briefing were Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, and other federal and state workers. First lady Melania Trump joined the president on his travels, which will take them to Austin to visit the Texas State Operations Center.
“I want to reassure all Texans impacted by this storm that federal, state, and local officials are working around the clock to respond to this disaster and ensure the safety of all those in the storm’s path,” Abbott stated. “I also want to thank President Trump for his leadership and commitment in helping the people of Texas recover from this storm.”
Awaiting Trump’s arrival on the Corpus Christi airport’s tarmac, Abbott told reporters it is important that the president see firsthand the extent of the damage. He said Trump was “smart and strategic not to go to Houston” while rescue and recovery efforts are still underway throughout the city.
Abbott described Trump as “a champion of Texans” for assisting in efforts to rebuild in the wake of the storm, adding that he would be speaking to the president in more detail about receiving additional federal aid.
The unprecedented storm is the the first natural catastrophe of Trump’s presidential tenure.