Abbott announces expanded Harvey recovery initiatives, says special session avoidable

Abbott announces expanded Harvey recovery initiatives, says special session avoidable

Abbott announces expanded Harvey recovery initiatives, says special session avoidable

Tropical Storm Harvey probably caused between $150 and $180 billion in damage to Houston and other areas and will be a costly recovery process for the U.S., Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on several Sunday news shows.

"This is a long road to hoe if we are going to rebuild the fourth largest city in the United States as well as the entire geographic region", Abbott said.

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"The geographic area and the population affected by this horrific hurricane and flooding.is far larger than the population and geographic area of Katrina", Abbott said on "Fox News Sunday".

"In the overall equation, the cost of this, if I understand it correctly, the cost to rebuild [after] Katrina, was over $120 billion", Abbot said.

Abbott said he wasn't concerned that politics would hinder the federal government's ability to provide aid to Texas, despite President Donald Trump's previous threats to allow the government to shut down if his border wall was not funded.

"Last night, the overnight population in shelters in Texas was 42,399", Abbott said, adding that 258 facilities were welcoming those seeking refuge in the state.

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Abbott said the EPA was prepared to go into these damaged sites "as quickly as possible" and cautioned people further about toxic substances in the waters all over, not just near the sites.

Trump spoke optimistically about a return to normalcy in Texas during his visit Saturday, saying the state likely wouldn't need an estimated three years to bounce back.

His comments come after devastating flooding from Harvey displaced thousands of people in the region.

During an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week", Abbott said the recovery and rebuilding efforts are "going to take a long time".

"We will not run out", Abbott said.

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