It rained and rained, the water levels continued to rise. Bodies floating through the streets. People were stuck on house roofs and screaming for help. "Katrina" was a once-in-a-century storm that killed about 1800 people in the gulf of mexico in 2005. The images of the storm and its devastating effects are firmly etched in the collective memory of americans. The reaction of then-president george W. Bush as well, who was on site only days later.
Trump seems to want to avoid bush's mistake at all costs. The president has been stepping down since tropical storm "harvey" hit in texas, which has already cost the lives of several people, was very resolute and liked to keep himself informed about the situation over the weekend: he made phone calls, he twittered.
He praised the work of the rescue teams time and again. He addressed the people of texas on several occasions, offering them encouragement. And on tuesday afternoon u.S. President donald trump arrived with his wife melania in the flood zone of texas. The president made himself in corpus christi, near the site where hurricane "harvey" in the night to last saturday had hit land, a picture of the situation. Trump thanked rescue workers and local officials for their efforts in fighting the floods. But it is still too early to congratulate each other. "We will do it only when it is over", trump said.
But the president did not want to visit areas that had been hit particularly hard "so as not to disrupt the rescue work unnecessarily". For "harvey" rages on.
The full impact of the devastating storm is still unclear. In some places, houses were up to their roofs in water, and the streets resembled canals. The metropolis of houston, which is home to 6.5 million people, was particularly hard hit.
Pictures from the city showed people struggling and pulling boats through hoof-high water. Helpers carried an old lady in a wheelchair through the floods.
Lamart clay of katy town told cnn by phone tuesday how he and his family were stuck in the house for twelve hours. Iashia nelson spoke to ABC while stuck in a neighbor's house with her children and the brown water rising around them. Hours later, she told the station how they were saved. It's images and stories like these that give a sense of how long texas will struggle with the aftermath of the floods.
For trump, it's first major national crisis in his roughly seven months in office. CNN spoke of a test for his administration. The "new york times said the weibe haus was aware of the risks of mishandling a natural disaster. The president appeared to be literally shackled by the storm's aftermath.
"Wow", tweeted trump on sunday "experts now call harvey a once-in-500-years flood."
He had announced his visit to texas even before the storm made landfall. Texas waters offer president chance to burnish his miserable image. It's an opportunity to showcase yourself as a hands-on doer. As a crisis manager. Trump has had a devastating few weeks: the russia affair, the "obamacare" debacle, the power struggle in the weiben house. The 71-year-old has been sharply criticized for his response to the violent clashes at a racist demonstration in charlottesville.
At a moment when the divisions in society were deepening, trump did not appear as a resident of verse. He later poured more oil on the fire by pardoning controversial ex-sheriff joe arpaio.
Now, as people in texas struggle with floods, president trump invokes americans' sense of community.