Trump vis­its Texas to sur­vey de­struc­tion

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

Lash­ing rain con­tin­ued to pound Houston on Tues­day, fall­ing on peo­ple who des­per­ately sought gro­ceries or trudged through wa­ter in search of shel­ter. The streets down­town were lit­tered with aban­doned cars, and al­most no stores ap­peared to be open, though peo­ple said they needed food and sup­plies.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ported that more than 42 inches of rain had al­ready fallen in Houston due to Har­vey. Some parts of Louisiana have also seen more than a foot of rain, and flash flood warn­ings and watches were in ef­fect for much of the Lake Charles re­gion as the rain is ex­pected to con­tinue. New Or­leans was un­der a tor­nado and flash flood watch un­til Thurs­day.

In Texas, one of the two mas­sive stormwa­ter reser­voirs to the west of down­town Houston be­gan spilling over — de­spite U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers ef­forts Mon­day to re­lease wa­ter as wa­ter lev­els in the reser­voirs swelled to record lev­els.

The Army Corps of En­gi­neers said that wa­ter was spilling out from around the dam gates of the Ad­dicks Reser­voir, and of­fi­cials also said they ex­pect the Barker Reser­voir — to the south of Ad­dicks — to also be­gin over­flow­ing some time Tues­day. Near the Barker dam, he­li­copters were at­tempt­ing to res­cue fam­i­lies, while some peo­ple spent their morn­ing hop­ping onto jet skis and into boats to help as well.

Har­vey con­tin­ued grind­ing to­ward the north­east, with its cen­ter ex­pected to be just off the up­per Texas coast through Tues­day night, the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter said. Af­ter that, the storm is forecast to move in­land on the north­west­ern Gulf Coast on Wed­nes­day.

Fore­cast­ers say more than a foot of ad­di­tional rain is still ex­pected to fall through Fri­day over parts of the Texas coast and Louisiana, and the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice warned Tues­day of po­ten­tial flood­ing in south­ern Mis­sis­sippi as well as south­east­ern Louisiana.

Trump ar­rived in Cor­pus Christi, Texas, on Tues­day morn­ing, and in­tended to visit Austin, the cap­i­tal, later in the day. His spokeswoman told re­porters on Air Force Once that Trump would visit “a dif­fer­ent part of the state” on Satur­day, while he has also dis­cussed vis­it­ing Louisiana the same day.

Dur­ing a news brief­ing in Cor­pus Christi, Trump praised the re­sponse from local of­fi­cials in Texas as well as fed­eral au­thor­i­ties who were grap­pling with the dev­as­tat­ing storm. He also spoke to a group that had gath­ered to see him.

“This is his­toric, it’s epic what hap­pened, but you know what, it hap­pened in Texas and Texas can han­dle any­thing,” he told the crowd, which ap­plauded his re­marks and cheered more loudly when he waved the Texas state flag.

When Trump ar­rived, about 50 ap­par­ent sup­port­ers had gath­ered near the run­way to wave signs bear­ing his name and wel­come him. Suzanne Guggen­heim, wear­ing a red hat bear­ing Trump’s “Make Amer­ica Great Again” slo­gan, said she felt he had han­dled the dis­as­ter well.

A small group of young Democrats protested Trump’s ar­rival. Marco Gar­cia, chair­man of the Texas Young Democrats Lat­inx Cau­cus, called Trump’s visit dis­re­spect­ful of the re­gion and of the na­tion’s Latino com­mu­nity.

“Trump should be fo­cus­ing on get­ting help to the peo­ple who need it, not tak­ing re­sources by ty­ing up the roads and cre­at­ing chaos in this re­gion that needs so much help,” said Gar­cia, a 24-yearold busi­ness man­age­ment ma­jor at Texas A&M Univer­sity-Kingsville, who said he has been help­ing evac­uees from Rock­port who have no shoes or food.

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