DALLAS (CBSDFW) – Shortly after President Trump’s arrival in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, the Commander in Chief received a 10 to 15 minute briefing on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts from Texas leaders.
President Trump was joined by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Region SIX Regional Administrator Tony Robinson, Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes and others.
The president spoke about the extreme nature of the storm and the “tremendous success” of the hurricane efforts. He congratulated both Abbott and Patrick for their leadership as well as FEMA’s efforts.
In his statements, the president also heaped praise on the Coast Guard and the military’s efforts during the aftermath of the storm, crediting them with saving 16,000 lives.
“Think of what that could have been. … If you lost anywhere near that number (of lives lost). … It would have been one of the worst, maybe the worst catastrophe we’ve ever had. The Coast Guard has been so incredible and (so has) all of the military,” the president said. “I just want to say I’m very proud of all of you, everybody at this table.”
Governor Abbot thanked the president for his commitment to the state and said that Trump understands the needs that people in Texas have and applauded his work and leadership in getting Texans back in their homes.
“The commitment that he has to ensure that Texans are going to be able to respond and rebuild is essential not just to Texas but also vital to the United States of America because of the powerful engine for the American economy that Texas provides,” Governor Abbott said.
Patrick and the others said the response from the Trump administration has been unlike any they had ever seen from a past administration.
“The response from this administration has far exceeded any previous administration in response to these storms. We have a lot of counties that have suffered hurricanes before and when I talk to those county judges and those mayors, they say FEMA has responded in a way they’d never seen … faster and with more help. And it’s because you were on the ground day one,” Patrick told President Trump. “We have a long way to go and a lot of people to get back in their homes. It’s the biggest storm in the history of America and the biggest and best recovery effort by the federal government.”
President Trump also encouraged the Governor that the state of Texas should take a greater look at using a different type of building materials to help protect homes on the coast from greater damage in the future.