HOUSTON: President Donald Trump headed to devastate Texas on Tuesday in a show of solidarity and leadership in the face of Harvey’s deadly devastation, while ice covered the US Gulf Coast. for even more torrential rain.
Four days after Harvey’s defeat as a fourteen-hurricane monster, turning the roads to rivers in America’s fourth-largest city, emergency crews still run to reach hundreds of people braided in a massive rescue operation 24 hours a day.
Trump left the White House with his wife Melania for the disaster zone at 8:30 am (12:30 GMT), wishing to achieve a unifying sound as the country faces the first natural disaster of its presidency.
Trump promised the full support of the federal government because Texas is making the “long and difficult road to recovery,” insisting on the eve of his departure: “We are an American family.”
The president and the first woman were not expected to travel to Houston, whose groups remained under water, stopping westward, including Corpus Christi, which was hit by the trail when the hurricane landed.
Trump will receive briefings on relief efforts in the immense Lone Star State where more than 8,000 people have been taken to emergency shelters and hundreds more are still awaiting ransom.
“We are Trumponites, I believe he will take care of us,” said Darla Fitzgerald, a 58-year-old nurse living in a Red Cross shelter in Winnie, a city east of Houston, where heavy rain struck Tuesday.
He said he would, so I’m sure he will. Ray Henrichson, a 74-year-old white-haired volunteer resident, was also optimistic about the president’s visit.
“I think it’s really nice that he signed the statements already so these people can get help right away,” he said.
“I think it’s good for him to get in. He’s probably going to fly in a helicopter and see the flooded lands we’ve seen on the road to the road here,” he said. It is quite dramatic.
Harvey is known to have left at least three people dead so far, with six additional deaths potentially linked to the storm, and officials warned the danger was far from over.
Rising flood waters on Tuesday violated a levee in Brazoria County, south of Houston, with officials asking residents of the 50 nearby homes to leave immediately.
“The Breakwater in Columbia Lakes was violated !!” the county government tweeted in its official flow. “I WANT NOW !!”
The US Army Corps of Engineers has already moved to open Addicks and Barker Dam, under pressure from what the agency has called the “Millennium Flood Event” to prevent a catastrophe outside Houston.
With neighboring Louisiana on the way to the storm, Harvey, now a tropical storm, presses east and should land again on Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Residents of the lower Louisiana city of New Orleans – who married the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – are preparing for heavy rains and flash floods over the next two days.
“The main threat remains the rain,” Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the Miami National Hurricane Center, told AFP, describing the situation as “catastrophic.”
“It’s not over,” he said. The Texas swamp and coastal prairie flooded quickly after Harvey hit the Gulf coast on Friday, but the city’s sprawling cities – where drainage is slower – have been hit hardest.
The roads were submerged and the residential streets quickly became uninhabited, power lines and dams overflowed.
Already, 50-inch (127 centimeter) rains fell in Houston, causing massive flooding in the city of 2.3 million people, and its largest metropolitan area of six million.
Houston can expect two or four more rains as the storm pulls away, but flooded conditions will likely last until the end of the week as the rain dries up, AFP meteorologist Eric Holthaus said.
In New Orleans on Tuesday morning, two inches of rain had already fallen in the city famed for its jazz music and Cajun cuisine, but particularly vulnerable because it is below sea level.