Aug 29, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Trump in Texas as Harvey flooding deepens

A Coast Guard rescue team evacuates people from a neighborhood inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

President Trump is visiting Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas today as heavy flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey continues to drown the coast for a fifth straight day as it heads toward Louisiana, putting even more strain on cities struggling to keep up with emergency rescues, power outages, packed shelters, and rising floodwaters.

The human toll, by the numbers: The death of a Houston police officer who drowned in his patrol car Tuesday has brought the death toll up to at least least 15, and it is expected to rise further. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said more than 3,500 people have been rescued in the city alone, and shelter capacity has been expanded to over 9,000.

What's next: The National Hurricane Center predicts that Harvey will make landfall again late Wednesday or early Thursday, most likely near Lake Charles, Louisiana. The state is already being pounded with rain from the storm.

Trump in Corpus Christi: "It's a real team, and we want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it...This was of epic proportion. Nobody's seen anything like this."

Trump in Austin: "We are going to be working with Congress on helping out the state of Texas, it's going to be a costly proposition," said Trump, mentioning Cruz, Cornyn and a handful on Congressmen. "Probably there has never been anything so expensive in our country's history, we've never done anything so historic in terms of damage and in terms of ferocity as what we've witnessed with Harvey."

Record Rainfall A National Weather Service rain gauge in the southeast of Houston recorded 49.32 inches of rain, the most rainfall from a tropical storm or hurricane in the contiguous 48 states (the highest recorded total rainfall is 52 inches in Hawaii from Hurricane Hiki in 1950, per CNN). The National Weather Service has also predicted that storm totals could exceed 50 inches in Houston, and 20 inches in southern Louisiana.

Dam troubles: A major dam outside Houston, the Addicks dam, has started overflowing. Brazoria county also tweeted — and Trump retweeted — that the Columbia Lakes levee south of Houston has been breached, urging people to "GET OUT NOW!!" Police went door-to-door in the community surrounding the lakes to personally tell residents to evacuate.

More on Harvey:

  • FEMA official Brock Long, at a briefing with President Trump in Corpus Christi: "We are very aware of the issues at the [Houston] convention center but let me be clear, this is not the Superdome [the 'shelter of last resort' used during Hurricane Katrina]."

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