President Donald Trump has declared Texas a Disaster Area due to Hurricane Harvey. President Donald Trump signed an official disaster proclamation about an hour before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, with fears mounting it could be the worst storm to hit the mainland since Katrina in 2005. By signing the declaration, federal aid will be guaranteed for the region dealing with 130mph maximum sustained winds.
Harvey was declared a Category 4 hurricane as it approached the mainland on Friday evening. It made landfall near Rockport, TX at 10:00pm CT.
Thomas Bossert, the homeland security adviser, said earlier Friday that Texas Governor Gregg Abbott requested the disaster declaration earlier in the day. “I would stress that this is a serious storm,” Bossert said, urging Texas residents to follow instructions from state and local officials. “This could remain a dangerous storm for several days.” Bossert stressed the federal government and the leadership team there is equipped to deal with the aftermath of this disaster. “Under that leadership team, we couldn’t have a better team, to be honest,” Bossert said. According to Bossert, President Trump has been regularly briefed on the storm’s progress by Bossert and his chief of staff John Kelly; he has also been in touch with Brock Long, the Administrator for FEMA.
Once the storm has passed, Trump may travel to Texas next week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Bossert offered some details of the President’s efforts at the helm of preparations for the federal government’s response to the hurricane. He said Trump was primarily concerned about whether Texas residents are “getting out of harm’s way;” whether emergency management officials had the “appropriate resources”; and that people in Louisiana, as well as Texas, be prepared in case the storm’s path changes. According to Long, FEMA has pre-positioned resources to aid in the relief effort once Hurricane Harvey moves away to a point rescue resources can safely enter the disaster area.