Last Updated Aug 29, 2017 9:27 PM EDT
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump viewed firsthand the effects of Hurricane Harvey’s flooding on Texas and its residents during a visit to Corpus Christi and Austin Tuesday afternoon.
Upon landing, Mr. Trump met with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long and local officials to receive an updated briefing on Harvey. He was also joined by Gov. Greg Abbott as well as GOP Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
Mr. Trump thanked his cabinet and Abbott for their work relating to the storm thus far.
“This was of epic proportion, nobody’s ever seen anything like this,” Mr. Trump said.
Outside of the local fire station where the briefing took place, Mr. Trump addressed an assembled crowd of a few hundred.
“I will tell you, this is historic,” he said. “It’s epic, but you know what? It happened in Texas and Texas can handle anything.”
At the conclusion of his brief remarks, Mr. Trump thanked Abbott, promised to get Texas “back and operating immediately” and waved a Lone Star flag, to which the crowd responded with cheers.
Later Tuesday, the Texas senators traveled with Mr. Trump and his cabinet to Austin, where the president toured the Texas Department of Public Safety Emergency Operations Center and met with officials there.
He praised the response officials’ coordination and cooperation in managing relief from Harvey, but added that recovery is “going to be long term.”
Along with Texas state leaders, Mr. Trump also received an additional briefing on Harvey’s impact in the Governor’s Briefing Room.
“Behind the scenes the president has shown character and compassion,” Abbott said of the president. “He helped get Texas prepared.”
Mr. Trump then reiterated the catastrophic effects of Harvey and the challenges Texas will face in rebuilding, adding that “there’s probably never been something so expensive in our country’s history.”