President Donald Trump vowed Monday that Texas would get emergency funding as soon as possible, as the Gulf region deals with catastrophic floods that have displaced tens of thousands of people, The Hill reports.
At a White House press conference on Monday, Trump intended to reassure those impacted by tropical storm Harvey that his threat to shutdown the government over funding for a border wall would not delay federal assistance for those in need.
“You will see very rapid action, certainly from the president, and you will get your funding,” Trump stressed.
Over 30,000 people are seeking refuge in temporary shelters, whereas about a 500,000 are expected to seek disaster assistance because of flooding, the worst Texas has ever seen.
Vice President Mike Pence added that 25,000 people had already applied for disaster assistance. Rain continues to pound Houston, with initial estimates of 20 inches of rainfall growing to 50 inches. Eight people are reported dead and the water rescues are looking for people trapped on rooftops above their submerged homes.
Earlier, Pence responded to concerns that FEMA’s $3 billion disaster relief fund would not be sufficient.
“We truly believe that we have the reserves to address the financial burden of this crisis. But candidly… we’re very confident that the Congress of the United States is going to be there to provide the resources necessary.” Pence said.
“We actually anticipate that as many as a half-a-million people in Texas will be eligible for and applying for financial disaster assistance, and we remain very confident that with the reserves and with the support in the Congress, we’ll have the resources that we need,” he noted.
There are also concerns about FEMA’s ability to process and respond to 500,000 applicants, but Pence noted Monday that the primary focus at this point remains on search-and-rescue, The Hill comments.
Trump, meanwhile, said that “tragic times bring out the best in American character, strength, charity, and resilience.”
“We see neighbors helping neighbors, friends helping friends and strangers helping strangers. You see that all over. You see it on television, such incredible work and love and teamwork. We are one American family. We hurt together. We struggle together. And believe me, we endure together. We are one family. To the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are 100 percent with you. We are praying for you.” Trump said.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit Texas on Tuesday. Trump also said that he may go to Louisiana on Saturday and could return to for a second visit through Texas on Sunday.