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Trump Tested By First Major Natural Disaster As President

A burnt out house and cars that caught fire are seen after Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi, Texas on August 26, 2017. Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast late Friday, unleashing torrents of rain and packing powerful winds, the first major storm to hit the US mainland in 12 years. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty ImagesA burnt out house and cars that caught fire are seen after Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi, Texas on August 26, 2017. Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast late Friday, unleashing torrents of rain and packing powerful winds, the first major storm to hit the US mainland in 12 years. / AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will be under scrutiny as his administration responds to its first major natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of Texas as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Friday and is expected to meander around the coast for days and cause catastrophic flooding. Harvey is the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in America since 2004.

As the hurricane began to make landfall, Trump signed a disaster declaration and said on Twitter that it “unleashes the full force of government help.” Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Fox News Saturday that the declaration of a disaster makes a “huge difference.”

Craig "Cajun" Uggen, 57, nearly floods his truck as Hurricane Harvey comes ashore in Corpus Christi, Texas. Minutes later, high winds blew off the camper carrying all of his belongings. REUTERS/Brian Thevenot
Craig “Cajun” Uggen, 57, nearly floods his truck as Hurricane Harvey comes ashore in Corpus Christi, Texas. Minutes later, high winds blew off the camper carrying all of his belongings. REUTERS/Brian Thevenot

For the time being, Trump has retired his use of Twitter to knock enemies and has been writing about the storm. “Closely monitoring [Hurricane Harvey] from Camp David. We are leaving nothing to chance. City, State and Federal Govs. working great together!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

The president’s top official in charge of the response to the storm is Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long. Long was confirmed by the Senate and has plenty of experience in emergency management.

Street signs lie on the ground after winds from Hurricane Harvey escalated in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S. August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Street signs lie on the ground after winds from Hurricane Harvey escalated in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S. August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

“We couldn’t have picked a finer leader,” Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said about Long at a Friday press briefing. “He’s had state director experience; he’s had FEMA experience. He’s absolutely the top of the top.”

It is still too early to judge the Trump administration’s response to the Hurricane, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said on Fox News that the “peak of flooding” will not occur for another few days.

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