Harvey has now established a national record for the most rainfall measured during a single storm in the continental U.S. after surpassing 50 inches of rain with more rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches expected to the north and east of Houston into southwest Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service.
Numerous flash flooding warnings remain in effect.
Twenty-two fatalities have already been confirmed and more fatalities are expected to be announced in the days ahead during the cleanup.
President Trump arrived in Texas on Tuesday, thanked Texas Governor Abbott for his relief efforts, and said the world is very impressed with what he’s doing.
Speaking at a fire station in Corpus Christi, President Trump said that the coordination of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is “beautiful to watch” and said that Harvey was of epic proportions.
Vice President Mike Pence gave an interview with WOAI, Radio 1200 and described Harvey as an “unprecedented storm” but emphasized that help is on the way with 8,600 federal officials from FEMA that are on the ground working to support the response in Texas and Louisiana.
“We’ve already shipped more the 2.5 million meals, more than 2 million liters of water. We have more than three dozen Coast Guard fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft, more than a hundred shallow-water rescue boats that have been working in the area for several days in conjunction with local first responders, your Texas National Guard” Pence said.
Pence said that they’ve been “deeply moved” by the suffering they’ve witnessed but admitted they’ve been “equally inspired” by the leadership from the state on down, including the volunteers who have made their way through flooded areas with watercraft to rescue fellow citizens.
During another radio interview with KKTX, Radio 1360, Pence said that as of Monday they have already had over 22,000 families go to disasterassistance.gov to begin the application process for support and for services in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
More applications are expected to roll in during the days ahead. He indicated that as many as half a million Texans could be eligible for financial support. FEMA’s phone # is 1-800-621-FEMA.
FEMA Administrator William Long admitted on Tuesday that recovery is a “slow process” but said that they already have points of distribution flowing.
“We’re working in conjunction with the Governor’s National Guard where FEMA is supplying meals and water, and the National Guard is helping to run those distribution points” Long said.
Texas Governor Abbott has already sent in 12,000 National Guards.
FEMA Administrator Long said that they are still in a “life-sustaining mission” and announced that there’s already 18 declared counties for individual assistance through the President’s disaster declaration ( see the full list at DisasterAssistance.gov).
Long reported that FEMA is working alongside the Governor’s disaster medical teams and they are sending in federal disaster medical teams to “multiple areas” besides the Convention Center for crisis counseling and ” to make sure that we’re meeting access to functional needs.”
Once the water retreats, FEMA will continue to offer commodities and also help to get people registered in the system to receive assistance while looking at power restoration and maintaining security.
Long pointed out that assistance doesn’t just come from FEMA but also comes from some of the other organizations represented at the disaster scene, including the Health and Human Services led by Tom Price and Housing and Urban Development led by Ben Carson.
Ben Carson tweeted on Tuesday, “Today, I announced disaster assistance for residents in Texas affected by
#HurricaneHarvey. Learn more https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2017/HUDNo_17-068 ….”
— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) August 28, 2017
Here is a YouTube video from a Houston resident showing aerial drone footage of some flooded areas:
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