President Donald Trump’s parting words to the residents of Texas about to deal with their first hurricane since 2008 was “Good luck.” Trump is spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland while Hurricane Harvey hits the Lone Star State.
As Trump left the White House, a reporter asked Trump if he had any words for the people of Texas. “Good luck to everybody,” the president shouted while holding granddaughter Arabella Rose Kushner’s hand. “They’re gonna be safe. Good luck to everybody. Good luck.”
Trump was followed by First Lady Melania Trump, his son Barron and Ivanka Trump’s son Joseph Frederick Kushner. The Washington Post reports that Trump will stay in contact with his homeland security team while at Camp David.
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he was briefed on the Hurricane Harvey situation by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, FEMA Director Brock Long, Counterterrorism Advisor Thomas P. Bossert and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. Trump also tweeted that he spoke with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “Closely monitoring #HurricaneHarvey developments & here to assist as needed,” Trump wrote.
Hurricane Harvey is Trump’s first major natural disaster as president. It is the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas since the historic Hurricane Ike and is expected to make landfall late Friday night into early Saturday morning. School districts have already cancelled classes and concerts have been cancelled.
The storm will make a direct hit to Corpus Christi and will impact Southeast Texas. The NAtional Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the storm will cause between 15 and 25 inches of rain, while some isolated areas will see as much as 35 inches. According to the latest advisory, the storm surge could be between six and 12 feet.
During a press conference Friday, Abbott warned that HArvey will be a “very major disaster” for Texas, reports KBTX. “We will be there to help as many people as we possibly can,” Abbott said. He also said he spoke with Trump to ask for an immediate presidential disaster declaration before landfall.
“I spoke with President Trump yesterday and am confident that he will move quickly to grant this request and provide the people of Texas with everything they need to recover from this storm,” Abbott said.
For details on evacuations and routes, click here.