President Donald Trump said the response to Hurricane Harvey will be “very expensive” but didn’t say whether he would ask Congress to provide additional funding for federal emergency management in the wake of the storm.
Trump also told reporters Monday at the White House that coordination of the response across the government has “been going very well.”
Harvey’s costs may mount to $30 billion when including expenses tied to business interruption, infrastructure, the power grid and labor force, according to Chuck Watson, a risk modeler with Enki Research. He expects less than a third of that sum will be covered by the insurance industry. Katrina, the most expensive hurricane to hit the U.S., cost about $118 billion.
Trump is taking pains to show himself actively engaged in the federal response to Hurricane Harvey as he faces the first major natural disaster of his presidency with his popularity at an ebb.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump plan to fly to Texas on Tuesday even as Harvey, now a tropical storm, continues to deluge the region. An airspace restriction issued by aviation authorities suggests Air Force One will land in Corpus Christi, away from the worst ongoing flooding in the Houston region.
Trump told reporters he may return to the region a second time as soon as Saturday.
His two two immediate Republican predecessors, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, suffered politically from botched responses, respectively, to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005.
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