A top Republican senator, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, warned President Donald Trump to keep a close eye on Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to make landfall in Texas on Friday night, and provide a more robust response than former President George W. Bush did when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005.
“@realDonaldTrump #hurricane keep on top of hurricane Harvey and dont mke same mistake Pres Bush made w Katrina,” Grassley tweeted Friday morning.
Bush was widely condemned for failing to provide adequate emergency and medical aid to communities devastated by Katrina, which left more than a thousand people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and created over $US100 billion in damage.
The then-president was on a 29-day vacation at his ranch in Texas when Katrina struck and did not fly back to Washington to address the crisis until two days after the storm hit.
Trump tweeted about the storm on Friday morning, telling Americans to “#PlanAhead” and linking to government agency websites with advice for dealing with the storm.
FEMA officials say they have enough funds at the moment to handle “the immediate lifesaving and life sustaining needs that may emerge as a result of Hurricane Harvey,” but will work with Congress if supplemental resources are needed.
Harvey is gaining power in the Gulf of Mexico, barreling toward the Texas coast with wind speeds as high as 110 mph.
The National Hurricane Center expects Harvey to hit the southern flank of Texas as a Category 3 hurricane on Friday night, with “life-threatening and devastating flooding.”
Forecasters predict that upon making landfall, the storm will stall until Tuesday and dump up to 35 inches of rain onto much of Texas.
Rebecca Harrington and Lydia Ramsey contributed to this report.