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Trump may make multiple visits to hurricane-damaged Gulf coast

  • August 28, 2017

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Stunning images from a Houston freeway show cars submerged in floodwaters after Harvey.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Monday that he may visit the Gulf Coast two or three times this week — with stops in Texas and possibly Louisiana — to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, the worst natural disaster to hit the nation during his seven-month-old presidency.

“The spirit is incredible, of the people,” Trump said in brief comments while meeting the president of Finland at the White House. He called the storm “the biggest ever — like Texas, if you think about it.”

Trump coordinated the federal response from the presidential retreat at Camp David over the weekend, declaring a federal disaster just before the storm made landfall on Friday. He extended that disaster declaration to Louisiana on Monday as the storm headed north.

As the federal response entered its fourth day, it was Vice President Pence who was the Trump administration’s voice of disaster recovery. In interviews with Houston radio and television stations, Pence sought to reassure flood victims that federal resources are already on their way.

But Pence also repeatedly emphasized that “the state is in the lead” of the disaster response.

“I remember this during my days as governor of Indiana,” he told Trey Ware, the morning host of KSTA radio in Houston on Monday. “When the rain comes down and beats against the house, and the flood waters rise and the wind blows, states are in the lead and your local first responders and local emergency managers.”

Forecast: Where is Harvey, and where will it go next?

More coverage: Harvey serves as grim reminder of Katrina for New Orleans residents

Pence said the federal government “has a vital role in providing support,” and he said more than 8,000 federal officials are in the Houston area and have helped to ship more than 1.2 million meals and 1 million liters of water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has 10 mobile communications offices in the region.

“These moments bring out the character of our nation. We’re seeing the generosity, the compassion, the courage of the American people in high relief,” Pence told radio host Rush Limbaugh. “I mean, you have first responders who have risked life and limb to rescue families that were stranded after Hurricane Harvey made landfall.”

President Trump plans to fly to Texas on Tuesday to survey the response. The White House had not yet confirmed his exact destination as of Monday afternoon, but FEMA Director Brock Long headed to Corpus Christi on Monday and the Federal Aviation Administration notified air traffic controllers of a VIP flight into Corpus Christi on Tuesday.

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People brave flood waters from Hurricane Harvey  asResidents are rescued from floodwaters from HurricanePearl Lyons is rescued from her subdivision off HighwayMJ Torres gives her sister, Valere Garza, left, a hugMessiah Gray gets carried to safety from a subdivisionVolunteers Elizabeth Duran and Dana Jamieson helpingA truck driver walks past an abandoned truck whileJoe Garcia carries his dog Heidi from his flooded homeVolunteer rescue boats make their way into a floodedJohn and Cathy Cservek hold their dogs Lacy and Iggy Mindy Walker and her three year old son Connor MartinezA boat heads out across the flooded area of CypressA boat ferries rescued residents from homes and apartmentsArthur Kolten, 96, center, was rescued by volunteersAlexendre Jorge evacuates Ethan Colman, 4, from a neighborhoodPeople evacuate a neighborhood in west Houston inundatedThere are currently more than 2,500 flood evacueesA man walks to his home in a neighborhood inundatedA Jeep drives through a  Houston neighborhood on  Aug.People evacuate a Houston neighborhood inundated onHeather Miller reacts after Harvey's blew apart manyMario Moreno removes wires from a light pole afterWes Sallee dumps branches and leaves in Corpus ChristiMike Bierd works to clean up one of his propertiesResidents from Port Aransas, Texas  are stopped byMembers of the Texas National Guard  walk through aMembers of the Texas National Guard pull a utilityDavid Graves takes a break from clearing trees fromRobert Payne bags leaves as he cleans the area aroundNaomi Coto carries Simba on her shoulders as they evacuatePeggy Tomblin, left and her daughter, Lisa Loos, haveA man helps children across a flooded street as theyCainan Ayers, 11, helps his grandfather, Cliffton Padier,Aerial footage from Salt Grass Landing Apartments inNeri Sanchez cries as she hugs her grandson, JonathanA tattered Rockport, Texas flag flies over the AransasZar Wade-Gledhill carries a chair from a flooded officeEvacuation residents from the Meyerland area walk ontoA flooded truck floats in floodwaters from TropicalDamage from Hurricane Harvey is seen in Port Aransas,Residents navigate a  flooded street that has beenNational Guard vehicles travel to different parts ofHouston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries CatherinePeople walk through the flooded waters of TelephoneTexas Governor Greg Abbott receives a briefing at theResidents are evacuated from their homes surroundedSam Speights holds two of his dogs as he checks onTwo people walk down a flooded section of InterstateA child makes his way through floodwaters from TropicalA man wades through floodwaters with a child on hisDominic Dominguez looks through a stack of boats jumbledLocal resident Valerie Cross, and her dog Boudreaux,A view of a sinkhole that caused a road collapse alongVolunteers and officers from the neighborhood securityWilford Martinez, right, is rescued from his floodedPrecinct 6 Deputy Constables Sgt. Paul Fernandez, fromA trailer home's stairs are lodged in an SUV's windshieldResidents are rescued from their homes surrounded byAndrew White (L) helps a neighbor down a street afterRuby Young waits with her husband, Claude Young, afterAerial footage from Cove Harbor Marina in Rockport,Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood securityResidents are rescued from their homes surrounded byA graveyard is seen as it floods during the aftermathA man walks down the median as trucks navigate floodwatersEmily Zurawski cries while inspecting her home in PortPeople seek shelter from the aftermath of HurricaneA man walks through floodwaters from Tropical StormAerial footage from Aransas County along the TexasA family evacuates their home in Houston on Aug. 27,A boat lays on it's side almost completely underwaterRobert Grant and Rocky from the Texas Task Force 2Members of the Texas Task Force 2 search and rescuePeople walk in heavy rain as they evacuate floodwatersAn outer wall of Emily Zurawski's home was blown inA man wades through floodwaters from Tropical StormA gauge shows the depth of water at an underpass onA man waves for help as he is surrounded by floodwatersRain from Hurricane Harvey inundates the Cottage GroveResidents wade through floodwaters from Tropical StormA truck pushes through floodwaters from Tropical StormA truck sits stranded after breaking down on InterstatePeople on a porch watch as rain from Hurricane HarveyPeople walk through flooded streets during the aftermathA military truck navigates along Interstate 10 whichRain from Hurricane Harvey inundates the Cottage GroveTwo kayakers try to beat the current pushing them downMoses Juarez, left, and Anselmo Padilla wade throughMichael Thomas and his brother Deeantre try to collectA boat sits in the street after Hurricane Harvey landedBrenda Newsom holds her dog Mousey as she stands inWanda Carpenter hugs her seven-year-old daughter  SamanthaFulton Volunteer firefighters wait under an awningA woman sleeps on a cot after she evacuated to a shelterA home is destroyed after Hurricane Harvey in PortA home is underwater after Hurricane Harvey landedA truck is flipped over after Hurricane Harvey landedA damaged car sits outside a heavily damaged apartmentDamage to a two-story apartment building after HurricaneHarold Nubles searches through what is left of hisBrad Matheney offers help to a man in a wheelchairDamage to the First Baptist Church of Rockport afterA view of the Marathon Texas City Refinery as rainInmates Gaij Capistran, left, Victor Bravo, center,A motorhome lies flipped on it's side near Victoria,Hurricane Harvey damage is seen in Bayside, TX  onPeople walk dogs through flooded streets as the effectsA mobile home lies split open in the Paradise LagoonsA big rig lies on it's side on Hwy 59 near Edna, Texas,Celina Martinez returns to find her family home badlyPaul Johnson cuts a tree with only a machete in theA damaged multi-level storage facility and boats areCelina Martinez returns to find their family home badlyA couple strolls along the shore in McFaddin Beach,Water pours into a storm drain on 31st Street in Nederland,People make their way down partially flooded roadsA motorist drives around fallen trees left in the aftermathGerman Martinez, with Galveston's Public Works department,Residents ride an all terrain vehicle down a streetMichael Scott uses his smartphone to livestream theRobert Zbrane stands next to his boat in Rockport,As a preventive measure, empty Metro buses are linedPort Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for peopleA man moves a sign after Hurricane Harvey hit the CoastRobert Burnett rests after he evacuated to a shelterMembers of the National Guard arrive at Port AransasPort Aransas Fire Department survey the area afterCrews remove debris from the streets after HurricaneMobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after HurricaneA boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane HarveyA boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane HarveyHomes are destroyed at an RV park after Hurricane HarveyA boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane HarveyA mobile park is destroyed after Hurricane Harvey landedA boat sits in the middle of the street after HurricaneCleaning crews clean debris located on Highway 361Law enforcement gather for a meeting to start searchPort Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for survivorsMobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after HurricaneMobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after HurricanePort Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for survivorsA police officer checks for survivors after  HurricaneDamage caused by Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas.A destroyed building at the Rockport Airport afterPower company workers repair damaged power lines afterMiguel Debernardis cleans up debris in the aftermathA Texas and U.S. flag fly as rain from Hurricane HenryRockport firefighters search for survivors in a structureRescue workers search for survivors in a structureDonna Raney makes her way out of the wreckage of her

  • People brave flood waters from Hurricane Harvey  as1 of 150
  • Residents are rescued from floodwaters from Hurricane2 of 150
  • Pearl Lyons is rescued from her subdivision off Highway3 of 150
  • MJ Torres gives her sister, Valere Garza, left, a hug4 of 150
  • Messiah Gray gets carried to safety from a subdivision5 of 150
  • Volunteers Elizabeth Duran and Dana Jamieson helping6 of 150
  • A truck driver walks past an abandoned truck while7 of 150
  • Joe Garcia carries his dog Heidi from his flooded home8 of 150
  • Volunteer rescue boats make their way into a flooded9 of 150
  • John and Cathy Cservek hold their dogs Lacy and Iggy10 of 150
  •  Mindy Walker and her three year old son Connor Martinez11 of 150
  • A boat heads out across the flooded area of Cypress12 of 150
  • A boat ferries rescued residents from homes and apartments13 of 150
  • Arthur Kolten, 96, center, was rescued by volunteers14 of 150
  • Alexendre Jorge evacuates Ethan Colman, 4, from a neighborhood15 of 150
  • People evacuate a neighborhood in west Houston inundated16 of 150
  • There are currently more than 2,500 flood evacuees17 of 150
  • A man walks to his home in a neighborhood inundated18 of 150
  • A Jeep drives through a  Houston neighborhood on  Aug.19 of 150
  • People evacuate a Houston neighborhood inundated on20 of 150
  • Heather Miller reacts after Harvey's blew apart many21 of 150
  • Mario Moreno removes wires from a light pole after22 of 150
  • Wes Sallee dumps branches and leaves in Corpus Christi23 of 150
  • Mike Bierd works to clean up one of his properties24 of 150
  • Residents from Port Aransas, Texas  are stopped by25 of 150
  • Members of the Texas National Guard  walk through a26 of 150
  • Members of the Texas National Guard pull a utility27 of 150
  • David Graves takes a break from clearing trees from28 of 150
  • Robert Payne bags leaves as he cleans the area around29 of 150
  • Naomi Coto carries Simba on her shoulders as they evacuate30 of 150
  • Peggy Tomblin, left and her daughter, Lisa Loos, have31 of 150
  • A man helps children across a flooded street as they32 of 150
  • Cainan Ayers, 11, helps his grandfather, Cliffton Padier,33 of 150
  • Aerial footage from Salt Grass Landing Apartments in34 of 150
  • Neri Sanchez cries as she hugs her grandson, Jonathan35 of 150
  • A tattered Rockport, Texas flag flies over the Aransas36 of 150
  • Zar Wade-Gledhill carries a chair from a flooded office37 of 150
  • Evacuation residents from the Meyerland area walk onto38 of 150
  • A flooded truck floats in floodwaters from Tropical39 of 150
  • Damage from Hurricane Harvey is seen in Port Aransas,40 of 150
  • Residents navigate a  flooded street that has been41 of 150
  • National Guard vehicles travel to different parts of42 of 150
  • Houston Police SWAT officer Daryl Hudeck carries Catherine43 of 150
  • People walk through the flooded waters of Telephone44 of 150
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott receives a briefing at the45 of 150
  • Residents are evacuated from their homes surrounded46 of 150
  • Sam Speights holds two of his dogs as he checks on47 of 150
  • Two people walk down a flooded section of Interstate48 of 150
  • A child makes his way through floodwaters from Tropical49 of 150
  • A man wades through floodwaters with a child on his50 of 150
  • Dominic Dominguez looks through a stack of boats jumbled51 of 150
  • Local resident Valerie Cross, and her dog Boudreaux,52 of 150
  • A view of a sinkhole that caused a road collapse along53 of 150
  • Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security54 of 150
  • Wilford Martinez, right, is rescued from his flooded55 of 150
  • Precinct 6 Deputy Constables Sgt. Paul Fernandez, from56 of 150
  • A trailer home's stairs are lodged in an SUV's windshield57 of 150
  • Residents are rescued from their homes surrounded by58 of 150
  • Andrew White (L) helps a neighbor down a street after59 of 150
  • Ruby Young waits with her husband, Claude Young, after60 of 150
  • Aerial footage from Cove Harbor Marina in Rockport,61 of 150
  • Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security62 of 150
  • Residents are rescued from their homes surrounded by63 of 150
  • A graveyard is seen as it floods during the aftermath64 of 150
  • A man walks down the median as trucks navigate floodwaters65 of 150
  • Emily Zurawski cries while inspecting her home in Port66 of 150
  • People seek shelter from the aftermath of Hurricane67 of 150
  • A man walks through floodwaters from Tropical Storm68 of 150
  • Aerial footage from Aransas County along the Texas69 of 150
  • A family evacuates their home in Houston on Aug. 27,70 of 150
  • A boat lays on it's side almost completely underwater71 of 150
  • Robert Grant and Rocky from the Texas Task Force 272 of 150
  • Members of the Texas Task Force 2 search and rescue73 of 150
  • People walk in heavy rain as they evacuate floodwaters74 of 150
  • An outer wall of Emily Zurawski's home was blown in75 of 150
  • A man wades through floodwaters from Tropical Storm76 of 150
  • A gauge shows the depth of water at an underpass on77 of 150
  • A man waves for help as he is surrounded by floodwaters78 of 150
  • Rain from Hurricane Harvey inundates the Cottage Grove79 of 150
  • Residents wade through floodwaters from Tropical Storm80 of 150
  • A truck pushes through floodwaters from Tropical Storm81 of 150
  • A truck sits stranded after breaking down on Interstate82 of 150
  • People on a porch watch as rain from Hurricane Harvey83 of 150
  • People walk through flooded streets during the aftermath84 of 150
  • A military truck navigates along Interstate 10 which85 of 150
  • Rain from Hurricane Harvey inundates the Cottage Grove86 of 150
  • Two kayakers try to beat the current pushing them down87 of 150
  • Moses Juarez, left, and Anselmo Padilla wade through88 of 150
  • Michael Thomas and his brother Deeantre try to collect89 of 150
  • A boat sits in the street after Hurricane Harvey landed90 of 150
  • Brenda Newsom holds her dog Mousey as she stands in91 of 150
  • Wanda Carpenter hugs her seven-year-old daughter  Samantha92 of 150
  • Fulton Volunteer firefighters wait under an awning93 of 150
  • A woman sleeps on a cot after she evacuated to a shelter94 of 150
  • A home is destroyed after Hurricane Harvey in Port95 of 150
  • A home is underwater after Hurricane Harvey landed96 of 150
  • A truck is flipped over after Hurricane Harvey landed97 of 150
  • A damaged car sits outside a heavily damaged apartment98 of 150
  • Damage to a two-story apartment building after Hurricane99 of 150
  • Harold Nubles searches through what is left of his100 of 150
  • Brad Matheney offers help to a man in a wheelchair101 of 150
  • Damage to the First Baptist Church of Rockport after102 of 150
  • A view of the Marathon Texas City Refinery as rain103 of 150
  • Inmates Gaij Capistran, left, Victor Bravo, center,104 of 150
  • A motorhome lies flipped on it's side near Victoria,105 of 150
  • Hurricane Harvey damage is seen in Bayside, TX  on106 of 150
  • People walk dogs through flooded streets as the effects107 of 150
  • A mobile home lies split open in the Paradise Lagoons108 of 150
  • A big rig lies on it's side on Hwy 59 near Edna, Texas,109 of 150
  • Celina Martinez returns to find her family home badly110 of 150
  • Paul Johnson cuts a tree with only a machete in the111 of 150
  • A damaged multi-level storage facility and boats are112 of 150
  • Celina Martinez returns to find their family home badly113 of 150
  • A couple strolls along the shore in McFaddin Beach,114 of 150
  • Water pours into a storm drain on 31st Street in Nederland,115 of 150
  • People make their way down partially flooded roads116 of 150
  • A motorist drives around fallen trees left in the aftermath117 of 150
  • German Martinez, with Galveston's Public Works department,118 of 150
  • Residents ride an all terrain vehicle down a street119 of 150
  • Michael Scott uses his smartphone to livestream the120 of 150
  • Robert Zbrane stands next to his boat in Rockport,121 of 150
  • As a preventive measure, empty Metro buses are lined122 of 150
  • Port Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for people123 of 150
  • A man moves a sign after Hurricane Harvey hit the Coast124 of 150
  • Robert Burnett rests after he evacuated to a shelter125 of 150
  • Members of the National Guard arrive at Port Aransas126 of 150
  • Port Aransas Fire Department survey the area after127 of 150
  • Crews remove debris from the streets after Hurricane128 of 150
  • Mobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after Hurricane129 of 150
  • A boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane Harvey130 of 150
  • A boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane Harvey131 of 150
  • Homes are destroyed at an RV park after Hurricane Harvey132 of 150
  • A boat sits in a parking lot after Hurricane Harvey133 of 150
  • A mobile park is destroyed after Hurricane Harvey landed134 of 150
  • A boat sits in the middle of the street after Hurricane135 of 150
  • Cleaning crews clean debris located on Highway 361136 of 150
  • Law enforcement gather for a meeting to start search137 of 150
  • Port Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for survivors138 of 150
  • Mobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after Hurricane139 of 150
  • Mobile homes are destroyed at an RV park after Hurricane140 of 150
  • Port Aransas EMS Chief Tim McIntosh searches for survivors141 of 150
  • A police officer checks for survivors after  Hurricane142 of 150
  • Damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas.143 of 150
  • A destroyed building at the Rockport Airport after144 of 150
  • Power company workers repair damaged power lines after145 of 150
  • Miguel Debernardis cleans up debris in the aftermath146 of 150
  • A Texas and U.S. flag fly as rain from Hurricane Henry147 of 150
  • Rockport firefighters search for survivors in a structure148 of 150
  • Rescue workers search for survivors in a structure149 of 150
  • Donna Raney makes her way out of the wreckage of her150 of 150

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