URGENT: President Trump Issues Official Statement On Hurricane Harvey… FULL TEXT


Official White House Statement on Hurricane Harvey

“President Donald J. Trump continues to closely monitor Hurricane Harvey and the preparedness and response efforts of State, local, and Federal officials.

Today, the President received a briefing from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, his Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Thomas P. Bossert, and his Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

Yesterday, the President spoke with Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and committed to providing assistance as appropriate.

This storm will likely be very destructive for several days.

The President encourages people in the path of this dangerous storm to heed the advice and orders of their local and State officials.  The President’s highest priority is the safety of the public and of first responders.

Those who ignore evacuation orders could be putting both themselves and first responders in danger.  We encourage all Americans in the affected areas to be prepared, including by visiting Ready.gov, which provides preparedness plans and important links to information.”

Meanwhile, Fox News reports that Hurricane Harvey continued to pound southeastern Texas on Sunday with “catastrophic flooding” in Houston that led to at least one death and an airport shutdown caused by standing water on the runways.

More than 1,000 people were rescued overnight Sunday. At least one person died due to the flooding, Houston Fire Department’s Sheldra Brigham said. Paramedics found the individual in a vehicle just before 10 p.m. A doctor, a passerby who stopped to help, was already at the scene and pronounced the person dead.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for most parts of southeastern Texas Sunday morning. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told “Fox & Friends Weekend” the city’s 911 system has been “overwhelmed” since Harvey struck.

“Do not call 911 unless it is a life or death situation…[we’re telling people] not to panic,” Acevedo said, adding that “we haven’t seen the worst of it yet.”

Acevedo said rainwater threatens to bring more flooding into the city in the coming days as it trickles down from other parts of the state.

“[I] cannot emphasize enough how much flooding there is on roadways. You are endangering yourself and our first responders by being out. Stay put,” Acevedo wrote on Twitter earlier.

The hurricane dumped more than 20 inches of rain in the Houston area, causing “life-threatening catastrophic flooding” in southeastern Texas, The National Hurricane Center reported. Up to 40 inches of rain is expected in some parts. Many residents fled to their attics for safety, though Acevedo urged people to go on their roofs instead, warning they could get stuck indoors with no way out.

“Reports of people getting into attic to escape floodwater — do not do so unless you have an ax or means to break through onto your roof,” Acevedo wrote on Twitter.

The Houston Sheriff’s Department urged residents with “non-life threatening water” in their home to stay indoors because it “is safer than going outside.”

“Difficult & scary, but we’ll get to you. Pls shelter in place. Be safe,” the department wrote.

Meanwhile, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Sunday continued urging residents on Twitter to “shelter in place” and stay off rain-swollen roadways.

Gonzalez actively used Twitter overnight Sunday to field assistance for those trapped inside water-soaked homes, attics and vehicles. Those appealing for assistance or being steered to help via Gonzalez’s Twitter feed included a person suffering “cardiac-arrest,” and a woman who posted: “I have 2 children with me and [sic], water is swallowing us up. Please send help.”

Gonzalez at one point appealed for calm and patience, saying officials were “trying to make it to everyone as best we can.”

The airfield was closed at William P. Hobby Airport Saturday night due to standing water on the runways, according to FOX26. Hundreds of flights were canceled and travelers were left stranded in the area.

Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane late Friday night, but downgraded to a tropical storm by Saturday. The hurricane center said in its 4 a.m. Sunday update that the tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72.42 kph) and remains stationary about 45 miles (72.42 kilometers) northwest of Victoria, Texas.

A second person was confirmed dead in a house fire as the hurricane came ashore Friday night. Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills Jr. told the Austin American-Statesman that 12 to 14 other people were injured.

Meanwhile, Trump announced on Sunday he will be heading to Texas as soon as possible and praised emergency crews and government officials for search and rescue efforts.

“I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety,” Trump tweeted.

Trump said on Saturday he was “closely monitoring” the storm from Camp David.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump’s response to the storm was “extremely professional, very helpful” and offered any resources the governor needed. He added it’s still unclear what amount of money will be needed for storm damage repairs, but estimated to be “billions of dollars.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Texas.

God Bless.

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