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Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey surround homes in Port Arthur, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (Gerald Herbert / AP)

What began as a Category 4 Hurricane has now weakened to a tropical depression, and the region that was pounded with heavy rain for six straight days is finally beginning to survey the damage that some experts say will cost more than Katrina and Sandy combined to repair.

The remnants of the hurricane, which has killed at least 38 people, began traveling up the Mississippi Delta this morning. Although it appears the worst is over for Texas, many areas remain underwater and tens of thousands of people are still seeking refuge in overflowing shelters.

More on Harvey:

  • Two explosions were reported at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, this morning, about 25 miles northeast of Houston. The explosion sent at least 15 officers to the hospital, and residents within a 1.5-mile radius were asked to evacuate. The owner of the plant later said he "fully expects" more chemical fires to occur.
  • Officials in Beaumont, Texas issued a statement Thursday saying that the city had lost its main and secondary water supply as a result of the extreme flooding. Baptist Beaumont Hospital was forced to evacuate due to the lack of water.
  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the president and first lady will travel to Texas and Louisiana Saturday, and will likely visit the Houston area and Lake Charles.
  • FEMA reported that 95,745 people in Texas have applied for emergency assistance, which includes financial help with repairs and lost property. So far FEMA has disbursed about $57 million to citizens in Texas.
  • Acting DHS Secretary Tom Bossert estimates that 100k houses have been affected by Harvey.
  • Sanders said Thursday that Trump will pledge $1 million of "personal money" to Hurricane Harvey relief.

National rescue operations:

  • The U.S. has deployed more than 6,000 active-duty troops to respond to Harvey, and an additional 1,100 are prepared to join them, according to the defense department.
  • The Coast Guard has sent 42 helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircrafts.
  • The Texas National Guard and other supporting National Guards have sent 39 helicopters.
  • The Marine Corps has two reserve battalions in place.
  • Two US Navy warships — the USS Oak Hill and the USS Kearsarge — are set to sail to the region later today to provide additional assistance.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
26 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.