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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Houston Floods: Donald Trump returns to Texas to meet Storm Harvey victims

Mr Trump was criticised for not meeting those affected by the storm on an earlier visit to the southern state

President Donald Trump returned to Houston, Texas on Saturday to meet victims of the floods caused by Storm Harvey.

The president visited an emergency shelter with his wife Melania Trump one day after he requested $8 billion (Dh29bn) from Congress to help those affected by the devastating storm.

At least 47 people have died and 43,000 people are living in emergency shelters since Harvey made landfall on the Texan coast last week.

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President Trump visited the state on Tuesday, however, he did not meet victims of the flooding, something he was later criticised for.

During his latest visit, the president took part in food distribution at the NRG Center- the biggest emergency shelter in Houston- shaking hands with victims and posing for photographs.

“The message is that things are working out well,” the president said at the shelter.

The president and the first lady helped distribute food at the emergency shelter and posed for photographs. Kevin Lamarque/ Reuters
The president and the first lady helped distribute food at the emergency shelter and posed for photographs. Kevin Lamarque/ Reuters

"I think people appreciate what's been done. It's been done very efficiently, very well, and that's what we want. We've very happy with the way things are going. A lot of love. There's a lot of love."

Mr Trump also visited a church in Pearland, Texas, which has been providing food to those affected by the floods.

Addressing crowds at the church, he declared that the situation was already improving.

“The water’s disappearing,” Mr Trump said. “We knew we have a long way to go, but the water’s disappearing. And you look at the neighbourhoods and you see it’s –- we just saw it through there. Two days ago, even yesterday, they had water. Today it’s all swept up and cleaned up. We’ve got a lot of hard-working people, I’ll tell you that.”

Mr Trump, who is facing the first natural disaster of his presidency, predicted that the effort to rebuild would be a lot quicker than experts had suggested.

"We’re talking about, they say two years, three years, but I think that because this is Texas you’ll probably do it in six months!" he added.

Vice President Mike Pence travelled to the state on Friday, visiting the cities of Rockport and Corpus Christi on the coast and meeting with storm survivors.