President Donald Trump on Monday prepared to visit Texas to view the federal government’s response to Harvey’s devastating flooding as his administration vowed to help the millions of residents dealing with the catastrophic storm. Vice President Mike Pence said the administration would be there for the long haul to help rebuild Texas and all the affected areas from Hurricane Harvey.
Experts say Harvey’s destruction is probably just beginning. The storm surge — the wall of water pushed inland by the storm — will gradually subside later Saturday, but officials are worried about “potentially catastrophic” rainfall that will continue for days, with more than 40 inches and flash flooding possible even well inland. The storm is expected to keep slowing and dumping rain through the middle of next week.
Governor Gregg Abbott is activating the entire Texas National Guard for search and rescue efforts following Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total deployment to roughly 12,000. Gov. Gregg Abbott said Monday that it’s “imperative we do everything possible” to protect lives. About 3,000 guard members had already been mobilized along the Texas coast.
Harvey has reportedly affected a quarter of the Texas population, about 6.8 million people. Houston has been devastated by flooding and is reportedly expecting to see rain totals around 40 inches. The death toll is continuing to rise and no estimates have been given on how high it could go.
The City of Dallas is preparing to open the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to house up to 5,000 evacuees from South Texas. In addition to food, clothes, and beds, the mega shelter will provide evacuees with medical and pharmacy services. Refugees from Galveston began arriving at Love Field Monday afternoon. Dallas ISD is planning to enroll student evacuees in school.
Celebrities including Kevin Hart, Katy Perry and country singer Chris Young are lining up to help raise money for flood relief efforts in Houston. Hart said he was starting a celebrity challenge to donate money to the cause.