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Trump administration readies response to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey update

Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert briefed reporters on the federal government's preparations for Hurricane Harvey, a "serious storm" which, he said, "could remain a dangerous storm for several days."

Harvey, which has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 miles per hour, is expected to bring flooding, flash flooding and other high-wind damage, Bossert said, although he added that this was expected "to be a rain event more so than a wind event."

15-foot storm surge possible as Hurricane Harvey approaches Texas

The White House is acutely aware of the potential for widespread damage from the hurricane. Bossert expressed "tremendous confidence" in FEMA and said that "we've gotten a lot better since Hurricane Katrina."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked for more federal aid in the face of what is potentially "a very major disaster," potentially the worst hurricane to hit U.S. in 12 years, since Hurricane Katrina struck Texas and Louisiana in 2005. Bossert strongly indicated that the president would be ready to provide aid if the forecasts prove true. 

"If all the conditions are met and it's appropriate to provide federal assistance, I believe the president will be very aggressive in moving forward and declaring [Texas] a disaster," Bossert said. 

Bossert urged those in the path of the storm to "be prepared and listen to their institutions and their state and local governments," adding, "now is not the time to lose faith in your government institution."

President Trump and his team have been engaged with state and local officials, Bossert said. Mr. Trump spoke to both Abbott and Louisiana's John Bel Edwards. He's also checked in with FEMA administrator Robert Fenton and acting Secretary Elaine Duke Friday morning. 

The president will be monitoring the storm from Camp David, which Bossert assured reporters is just as well-equipped as the White House for monitoring storm damage. Mr. Trump plans to go to Texas early next week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Friday.

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