By Mike Allen
1 big thing: Houston and Harvey
The latest on Harvey, from Axios' Alayna Treene, who has been keeping tabs on the storm for the Axios stream:
- 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 police officers to the hospital.
- The city of Beaumont 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.
- VP Mike Pence told reporters on Air Force 2 that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will return to Texas on Saturday. Sarah Sanders later said they'll likely travel to the Houston area.
- FEMA reported that 95,745 people in Texas have applied for emergency assistance... FEMA has disbursed about $57 million to citizens in Texas. White House Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert estimates that 100k houses have been affected by Harvey.
- The White House said Thursday that President Trump would personally donate $1 million to Harvey recovery efforts.
The rescue operation, by the numbers:
- The U.S. has deployed more than 6,000 active-duty troops, and an additional 1,100 are prepared to join them.
- 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.
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