Washington: US President Donald Trump will head to storm-hit Texas on Tuesday, the White House announced, after the Republican leader said earlier that he wanted to wait until authorities on the ground were ready.
“The president will travel to Texas on Tuesday. We are coordinating logistics with state and local officials,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
“We continue to keep all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers.”
The trip was announced after Trump, who spent the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat, had discussed the unfolding crisis — the first domestic challenge of his presidency — with his cabinet via teleconference.
In an earlier set of tweets, Trump said he wanted to ensure that his visit would not be a burden amid the devastation wrought by monster storm Harvey.
“I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety,” Trump said.
“Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground.”
The Republican president praised rescuers for saving “thousands” and also hailed the coordination between federal, state and local agencies.
At least three deaths have been blamed on Harvey, which slammed into the US Gulf Coast as a category four hurricane.
It has since been downgraded to tropical stormstatus, but has stalled out, dumping more than two feet (more than 60 centimeters) of rain in some places, with more expected in coming days. AFP / SAMAA
Story first published: 28th August 2017