HOUSTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump is headed to Texas, where a massive rescue operation continues in Houston.
Thousands have been forced to evacuate the nation’s fourth largest city.
President Donald Trump monitored the unfolding natural disaster from Camp David where he spent the weekend.
HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible.Thanks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2017
Trump met in a teleconference with administration officials and the federal recovery efforts before returning to the White House on Sunday.
The president addressed the situation at a news conference Monday afternoon.
“Things are being handled really well. The spirit is incredible of the people. The coordination between all of the different services as you know has been going very well. Great respect for the governor, he’s done an incredible job,” Trump said. “Recovery will be a long and difficult road and the federal government stands ready. The first priority is safety for first responders. Protecting the lives of our people is my highest priority. Tragic times brings out the best in America’s character, charity and resilience. We see neighbor helping neighbor and stranger helping stranger.”
The federal response to Harvey’s historic flooding is being coordinated by the White House.
“I have to say the Trump administration has provided everything that we need,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
The federal response included disaster declarations before the storm made landfall on Friday which funnelled money to six Texas counties for temporary housing and home & business repair.
“Any additional counties that require that assistance, as individuals or the public, they’ll get that and the FEMA director has the authority to add it,” Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it’s learned from previous natural disasters and brought help in quickly.
“Nearly 5,000 people from the federal government on site in Texas and Louisiana,” said FEMA administrator Brock Long.
The federal response has just begun.
“FEMA’s going to be there for years.” said Long. ” This disaster recovery, this disaster is going to be a landmark event.”
The president did not detail where he would be heading, but he is leaving D.C. at 8:30 p.m.
Trump said he may return to Texas again on Saturday, combining it with a trip to Louisiana depending on what they experience from Tropical Storm Harvey.