US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump flew into this flood-ravaged city today to meet with survivors of Hurricane Harvey in his second visit to southeast Texas since the storm came ashore eight days ago. Trump was greeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. He met people who were forced out of their homes by the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey at the city’s NRG Stadium, which is serving as a relief center.
More than 17,000 people have sought shelter following the storm, according to the Red Cross. Trump asked to declare Sunday as national day of prayer for Texas. On his visit to a shelter for storm victims, the president declared he sees “a lot of love” in the wake of devastation left by Harvey. “We saw a lot of happiness,” he told reporters after he and first lady Melania Trump greeted children in the kids’ zone in NRG Center, an emergency refuge for people who were forced out of their homes. “As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing.”
Trump spent time in the kids’ zone, exchanging a high five with one boy and holding a little girl in his arms to give her a kiss. The president and first lady then helped hand out box lunches. Later they loaded the trucks for people coming from various churches and shelters for gathering food from this distribution center. The Trumps stopped for hugs and posed for photos with storm survivors. In the children’s area of the center, the president got into a scrum with three boys, one with a fake sword, while the first lady sat on the floor with books.
“The message is that things are working out well. Really, I think people appreciate what’s been done. It’s been done very efficiently, very well, and that’s what we want. We’re very happy with the way everything is going. A lot of love. There’s a lot of love,” Trump said. From here, the president and first lady will jet to Lake Charles in neighbouring Louisiana to visit emergency responders as well as members of that state’s congressional delegation, before flying home to Washington Saturday evening.
It was his second trip to Texas in a week, and this time his first order of business was to meet with those affected by the record-setting rainfall and flooding. Hurricane Harvey is Trump’s first natural disaster as president and it could be the costliest natural disaster in US history. The president’s trip to Texas on Tuesday included stops in Austin and Corpus Christi but purposely avoided the harder hit areas so as not to interfere with still-ongoing rescue efforts.