WORLD

Trump tours dis­as­ter zone; Hous­ton im­poses overnight cur­few

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Hur­ri­cane Har­vey has set what fore­cast­ers be­lieve is a new rain­fall record for the con­ti­nen­tal United States, of­fi­cials said Tues­day. Har­vey, swirling for the past few days off Texas and Louisiana — at times as a hur­ri­cane and at times a trop­i­cal storm — has dumped more than 49 inches (124.5 cen­time­ters) of rain on the re­gion.

COR­PUS CHRISTI (AFP) — Hur­ri­cane Har­vey has set what fore­cast­ers be­lieve is a new rain­fall record for the con­ti­nen­tal United States, of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

Har­vey, swirling for the past few days off Texas and Louisiana — at times as a hur­ri­cane and at times a trop­i­cal storm — has dumped more than 49 inches (124.5 cen­time­ters) of rain on the re­gion.

“The record for to­tal rain­fall from a trop­i­cal sys­tem has been BRO­KEN!” the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice Hous­ton an­nounced on Twit­ter.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump toured the Har­vey dis­as­ter zone in Texas on Tues­day as he sought to project an im­age of lead­er­ship in Amer­ica’s first big nat­u­ral dis­as­ter since he took of­fice, as the bat­tered U.S. Gulf Coast girded for an­other hit from the huge storm.

Four days af­ter Har­vey slammed on­shore as a Cat­e­gory Four hur­ri­cane, turn­ing roads into rivers and neigh­bor­hoods into lakes in Amer­ica’s fourth-largest city, emer­gency crews still strug­gled to reach hun­dreds of stranded peo­ple in a mas­sive round-the-clock res­cue op­er­a­tion.

Rain and more rain kept fall­ing, with no sign of the night­mare eas­ing. Hous­ton Mayor Sylvester Turner de­clared a night­time cur­few as the city tries to head off loot­ing in the wake of epic flood­ing from Har­vey.

Trump, sport­ing a “USA” baseball cap and clutch­ing a Texas flag with its trade­mark lone star, tried to strike a uni­fy­ing tone as he vis­ited the coastal city of Cor­pus Christi, prais­ing the work of state and fed­eral of­fi­cials in re­spond­ing to the dis­as­ter.

“We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it,” he said.

Emerg­ing from a brief­ing held in­side a fire sta­tion, Trump climbed up a lad­der for an im­promptu ad­dress to the mix of sup­port­ers and ban­ner-wav­ing pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side.

“We love you, you are spe­cial, we are here to take care of you,” the pres­i­dent called out. “It’s his­toric, its epic, but I tell you, it hap­pened in Texas — and Texas can han­dle any­thing.”

“What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump added, as if ad­dress­ing a po­lit­i­cal rally.

The U.S. leader and First Lady Me­la­nia had no plans to visit Hous­ton — swathes of which re­main un­der wa­ter — to avoid dis­rupt­ing re­cov­ery ef­forts.

But the pres­i­dent was nev­er­the­less seek­ing to make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, learn­ing from the mis­takes of for­mer Repub­li­can leader Ge­orge W. Bush, whose re­sponse to Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina — which wal­loped New Or­leans ex­actly 12 years ago — was widely seen as botched.

Har­vey, now a trop­i­cal storm, has so far driven more than 8,000 peo­ple into emer­gency shel­ters across the Lone Star State, and hun­dreds more still await res­cue.

“We’re Trumponites. I trust he’s go­ing to take care of us,” said Darla Fitzger­ald, a 58-year-old nurse based in a Red Cross shel­ter in Win­nie, a small town east of Hous­ton, where the rain fell heav­ily Tues­day.

A Hous­ton po­lice of­fi­cer was con­firmed as the lat­est vic­tim of the storm af­ter the body of Steve Perez, who went miss­ing af­ter re­port­ing for duty in the early hours of Sun­day, was re­cov­ered by divers two days later.

Har­vey was pre­vi­ously known to have left at least three peo­ple dead, with six more fa­tal­i­ties po­ten­tially tied to the storm, and of­fi­cials warned the dan­ger has far from passed.

Ev­ery­where, the fig­ures are stag­ger­ing. The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said over six mil­lion Tex­ans have been im­pacted by 30 inches (76 inches) or more of rain since Fri­day.

Res­i­dents liv­ing around a chem­i­cal plant in the county that in­cludes Hous­ton were evac­u­ated as a pre­cau­tion, over fears that some of the chem­i­cals at the fa­cil­ity — which pro­duces or­ganic per­ox­ides — might re­act or cause an ex­plo­sion.

With neigh­bor­ing Louisiana squarely in the path of a storm now hov­er­ing off the Gulf Coast, Har­vey is press­ing north­east­ward and ex­pected to make land­fall again late Tues­day or early Wed­nes­day.

Res­i­dents of low-ly­ing New Or­leans — which bore the brunt of Ka­t­rina’s wrath in 2005 — are brac­ing for up to 10 inches of rain over the next 36 hours, with a risk of flash floods.

Reuters-Yonhap

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and first lady Me­la­nia Trump re­ceive a brief­ing on Trop­i­cal Storm Har­vey re­lief ef­forts with Texas Gov­er­nor Greg Ab­bott, left, in Cor­pus Christi, Texas, Tues­day. Trump flew into storm-rav­aged Texas in a show of sol­i­dar­ity and lead­er­ship in the face of the deadly dev­as­ta­tion wrought by Har­vey — as the bat­tered U.S. Gulf Coast braces for even more tor­ren­tial rain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.