In Texas, President Trump gets briefing on ‘epic’ storm damage

President Trump heard first-hand about local relief efforts from hurricane Harvey on Tuesday, and promised Texas residents that their recovery will be “better than ever before.”

“We want to be looked at in five years and ten years from now as ‘This is the way to do it,'” Trump said at a firehouse in Corpus Christi, Texas as dispatch calls came over an address system. But he said it’s too early to declare the relief efforts an unqualified success.

“We won’t say congratulations. We don’t want to do that,” he told Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “We’ll congratulate each other when it’s all finished.”

Trump arrived in Corpus Christi on Tuesday for a two-city tour of hurricane-ravaged Texas in order to make sure the region is “receiving full support and cooperation from the federal government.”

The windbreaker-wearing White House delegation included first lady Melania Trump, Housing Secretary Ben Carson, Health Secretary Tom Price and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon.

Later, in Austin, Trump will visit the Texas emergency response center and meet with state officials.

On the ride from the airport, Trump’s motorcade passed trees, signs and fences knocked down by the hurricane’s 130 m.p.h. winds.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One that Trump’s schedule for the day is “fluid” but that Trump would intentionally avoid the areas most impacted by flooding.

“The president wants to be very cautious about making sure that any activity doesn’t disrupt any of the recovery efforts that are still ongoing, which is the reason for the locations we are going here today,” she said. “As of right now, I don’t know that we will be able to get to some of the really damaged areas.”

Hurricane Harvey has presented the most severe natural disaster of Trump’s presidency, dropping as much as 40 inches of rain on the Gulf Coast before weakening to a tropical storm on its way to Louisiana. Trump said Monday that he may return to Texas and Louisiana over the weekend.

“To the people of Texas and Louisiana: We are 100% with you,” Trump said Monday. “We’ve pledged our full support as Texas and Louisiana battle and recover from this very devastating and historic storm. There’s probably never been anything like this.”

As Trump was in the air, Vice President Pence took to the airwaves, continuing a blitz of radio and television interviews with local stations in the region.

“We know we’re not out of the woods,” he told KKTX-AM in Corpus Christi. “People within the sound of my voice should know that this is still a dangerous storm.”

The trip comes as Trump is also juggling the North Korea crisis. During his flight to Texas aboard Air Force One, Trump spoke with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore about the threat posed by North Korea, among other things.

Asked by reporters how he’ll respond to the regime’s latest missile test while boarding Marine One, Trump said, “We’ll see, we’ll see.” In an earlier statement, he said, “All options are on the table.”

Tropical Storm Harvey batters Texas

Local residents are evacuated by a military vehicle

Rescue workers and volunteers help residents make their

Billy Argueta(R) helps evacuate a family from their


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