Trump visits Texas after Hurricane Harvey

ABC News' Amna Nawaz, Clayton Sandell, Katherine Faulders and David Kerley report.
24:53 | 08/29/17

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Transcript for Trump visits Texas after Hurricane Harvey
President trump has arrived in southeastern Texas some of the areas hardest hit by hurricane hearty he's there. Getting a briefing from local and federal state officials were coordinating the very much ongoing response courts to help the thousands. Many many thousands who are still impacted there let's go live now to our colleague Clayton send out who is in Houston right now. Covering the effects of hurricane Harvey on the ground Clayton we heard there from the president and from others coordinating a response on the ground. About the extensive network of people working together to try to help folks who were impacted there forty seeing on the ground and he'd step. It it is an extensive network of first responders but the thing that has really impressed us really blows away in this whole effort. Is the number of citizens who have come out to help their fellow neighbors driving down one of the few oh open portions like in the morning. And there was a line. Votes that were all headed for downtown Houston. And there were a couple of Texas game Wharton boats and there but they were mostly. The Basque majority we're just regular citizens. And T shirts and shorts pulling their boats you know so there's a huge effort of people that have come out we spent all day. Yesterday in a neighborhood with a guy a general contractor brought its hunting boat out and he by the end of today. Rescued well over a hundred people just himself he went crisscrossing up and down streets just like this one. Calling Al. People were shouting from there they are windows there there front doors. And he would he would take them out may mean he was there 911 in fact one laments that we call 911 and he said. Not when one is not going to help you I'm here to help so. This effort here could not be as effective as it has ban. And is widespread it has been without the help. Citizens and now. It's happening here right now backward an area called lake zone Eldridge which has literally beat com. A lake you can look around and see this neighborhood is now I'm at least enough let apple water here and ticket sort of a picture of what's happening here. This neighborhood backs up against what is known as the addicts reservoir so if you think of the front of the reservoir where that dam is. All the water backed up there Andy you know go to their first and then backs up. Into these houses that are on the backside of that reservoir that reservoir is now filling up completely and has inundated. These homes altogether around 2000 homes over 2000 homes have been inundated. But if you look at all of this water. This was all the neighbors here tell it was all rock. At this time yesterday it wasn't. Overnight hours like 8 mind 10 o'clock. That this started to fill up and now people. And trying to get out of here. Because you concede this is not drivable this water and ultimately about what but he. It's not probable anybody in these houses here. Right now there's not. Unless they have a boat or canoe or kayak or some way to get out now if you look at this house over here what they flag they still have power. And I looked inside it looks like they've got some gathering some belongings gathered on the porch here maybe inside I haven't knocked on the door yet. To see if they're still in there but they're there are some of the lucky ones because right now they have power so. So they made. They mace choose to stick it out a lot of people of and that's have been. Staying as long as they can. We've met bunch of folks yesterday organ transplant they finally evacuated from another neighborhood last night but you kind of get the picture here. Of what is going on now in Houston city why the mayor gave a press conference little while ago. And that was something I have been something like 3500 water rescues in the city of Houston along the tremendous. Tremendous number and you know worse we're not getting as much rain here in west Houston. But. It's bill as you can see that's not really the problem right now it's these Reza wars that are spilling out and and and just letting these neighborhoods and there's another reservoir. Called. Parker reservoir just south of addicts reservoir odd Allen is also filling up they suspect that it made two starts do. What the houses for the back of that reservoir so what they've been trying to do is release water from the reservoirs. On the downstream side but not create its own problems because that's bill's and is on the on the buffalo by U. And our neighborhoods down in that area. Not all flows through downtown Houston creates a whole a whole problem hours there. Might we talked of her second RF II. I'm Clayton yes allies there. I'm glad to meet Heidi you know it off so you guys are how far into the neighborhood where it or not. Over there. Okay are. Extra readers here. Or. At least under and right now now I talked to use the entity. Neighborhood here is permanent he said that this was all dry last. Are actually awoke at 3 o'clock this morning get up and to see the water short form in the upcoming. Catch basins and it sort come back and that's it looks like probably rising. Maybe a quarter of an inch an hour. I don't know if it's gonna kind of become an art to an apple now you this reservoir area I suspect this was something that was maybe in the back of your mind. But did you ever expects UB. You know wading through to be watered we've lived here twenty years and I've never seen a drop water industry I mean it's on the most Rachel downpours yours so it's been. It's actually pretty. Shocked to see the level waters watched them. Are people trying to get out now Howard beginning now so there's a mixture of people on this some against the attic rose war. There actually stormed back your way coming news votes. It's it's it. And tunnels citizens who were offered a two year at schools that if we do need its notebooks. And her elementary. It. How many folks he has made how many cars are just a matter still in the are talking hundreds oh yeah I mean that this subdivision ears it's 750 houses for years over thousand. I would imagine the east. At least 500. At least 500 families. Which could be. And I see these guys don't have power this up like we do have power and we're just wondered if you know pledge about not yet transformers. Their fortunes. What are you gonna do I mean it's still keeps coming. It's not my house yet right next to Claus got about two feet before comes in again that's. I think our elevation here in the maps and what and he. Looks like to spare. In the neighborhood with the bug out plan orally hear her. Perk she higher. But watching it for. Tanner and hopefully. We are its source yesterday people who have for example. Need respirators need electricity the power goes that could be critical other people in critical need at this point thing. I have not heard anybody we're kind of passing by were mild or any elderly folks are folks that are need assistance. Water which pets and votes and through its trucks. Trying to gets well. And is it are are you seeing. Official government rescuers or is this they citizen effort now again I think being from Louisiana called Kate maybe. Come to LP. The texts maybe. But we'll tell you I'm not seen in the past eight and it really makes me optimistic country country can b.'s did you see people's thing a just let me know. If people need help all sort of political. Stuff goes out the window absolutely we've got my house right now we have nine Beatles. Lady Beagle rescue brought sixty. Of the century house as well will be fine. You're running a Beagle shelter through accurate Tellme unit Megan wants more clay. Shops all 88 and S and like thank you very much appreciated taking the time. Let thank you guys galloped general. Re are yap so so that's not what's going on air guys. Whitney's rating but. But for the most part these guys are hanging in merit just all depends on how much higher this reservoir gets in the reservoirs around it. Whether again people lose power and when you lose power. People policy you know as you can imagine it gets very very miserable so. We'll keep an out of here for you guys backed him. IRA Clayton I am fascinated to see there just how quickly things are changing and also. How much uncertainty there is ahead Clinton's and Al in Houston Forrest thanks for hanging with us. Clayton lets a look at how. Some of the people who are tasked with actually responding to those folks on the ground are handling and preparing for what's ahead. David curly joins us in our Washington DC bureau and David you heard there. From the resident in Houston how they don't really know what to had it strikes me that that's kind of the case for everybody trying to prepare for what's ahead they don't yet know. What the full devastating consequences will be. We are still in the midst of a disaster and as the president said it disaster of epic proportions it is still for FEMA at this point as they said life sustaining and life saving. We're not talking recovery yet and this is still Houston and this storm is moving on to New Orleans and what you heard in that short bit of briefing with the president. And all the different staff members and cabinet members there is at the federal government is as overwhelmed as everybody else. By this storm and are running out of resources if you listen carefully and let's understand how emergency management works first. It's the local folks that aren't charts that starts with Houston and when they run into trouble they go to the state of Texas and what of the state of Texas is in trouble. They declare an emergency and asked the president to sign that declaration. The president did for Texas and Louisiana which allows the feds to come in but what you heard. From both the FEMA director and others during that briefing is that they're having to bring in even more resource they are overwhelmed they've asked for volunteers when's the last time. That the federal government has said wait a minute let the emergency workers take care of it. But will take care of everything I know this time they're saying listen we need the volunteers there bring in additional resources from Fort Hood. Which is in Texas that is army. Folks it'll come in and we're told by here at the Pentagon. From our report -- Martinez that the Marines are stand by with additional aircraft as you heard from the Coast Guard. You know was difficult to fly yesterday it's getting a little bit better to flight today. But there are still problems there. This storm is overwhelming the ability of emergency responders and that's the reason you are seeing people asked for volunteers. And the reason Clayton said you know so many people are just saying. Well can I do how can I help. This is this storm as the president sort of epic epic proportions that is testing. Our emergency management system they are responding properly so far. But as you can see. They are running out of resources are having to bring more and more it. And important to note here it's not nearly over as you mentioned it's making its way to Louisiana and now so let's bring in our colleague Katherine fall in section over at the White House. Right now to get her take on this Catherine have for everything we've heard so far now. This is obviously still very much in motion very like surrounded by uncertainty and possibly more devastating consequences ahead. Added I think time we've heard from the president very optimistic tone slightly toned down today but yesterday was promising the Texas will be back up and running very very quickly Tommie Liddell that. The messaging from the white house on us. Oh right you heard his message yesterday and it press conference where he did strike an optimistic that he was confident of the funding he was confident that. Texas would be up and running very quickly but I was struck by Clayton live shot there were you song and standing in. No foot in the house of water overnight in Texas in Houston. Of course striking the president striking an optimistic tone. I'm yesterday but the White House is still very much aware. Of that of the storm still developing they have been very cautious to say. That the president doesn't want to cause a disruption when he goes down there he's avoiding. Houston he's avoiding those areas. Where Clayton is he's heading to. I mean he's now was just briefed in Corpus Christi and and it betting we'll head off in leader in Spain way. From those areas we expecting to head back later this week where he may get a little bit more. I'm of a firsthand look but I was struck by his comments on that he meet and that everything he said. We won't say congratulations. We don't want to do that will could gradually each other when it's all been test that's an important comment from the president. Eat as you remember a President Bush was on the ground. I'm in hurricane hurricane Katrina and he. He M. That got a lot of flak on the backside of that it was something that stuck with him for a long time yet this is first natural disaster. As president a lot of times presidents of our quick. To get you on the grounds immediately but we don't have a good sense of that yet. The president here today in that briefing scenes. To be of winning declaring victory too soon. If he does that it could potentially have. A big political risks of the White House really you know tiptoeing around this going around putting their toe in the water for a say and then. Coming back later vice president Mike Pence is expected to also head down on his head down there. Utley later this week so definitely a more subdued tone from him today he thanked everybody everybody around him then and many said that. You know he knows better than everybody that when they when he looks back and five to ten years. We want to know that it's done right so really really being cautious here at least for right now. Five to ten years seems like a very long way I think right now it looks like it went concentrating on five to ten hours. That did occur early back to that point right now we heard. As you mentioned earlier in that briefing the FEMA director the emergency management director basically saying. This is going to come down to neighbor helping neighbor there RD thousands of first responders in the area. And we still don't know what's ahead if the big question is. Do we know that we half the capacity to handle that. Yeah I mean they'll continue to bring in resources from around the country. Which is which are seeing today with this tapping a Fort Hood and whatnot there are a lot more federal resources in other states are responding as well. Texas there's an emergency compact between states so texas' put out request to other states that have. Hi rescuers swift water rescue teams to come in and they are helping him. There on the ground but. We're really today it to me in Houston is partly assessment today this is the first day. Where the rain has subsided slightly we saw it was still rating worked willingness. For to get a sense of how many people still need to be rescued you know we've we've heard about all the social medium people signaling that we don't know that there are people that aren't able to get on social media. Don't have a phone haven't been able to put a sheet out there when or whatever that still need to be rescued so. And the numbers are staggering already Houston was talking about earlier today how many people they've rescued more than a thousand calls they've been on what they were badly. To Catherine's note about what the president said today. He talked about the team and he said quote we want to do it better than ever before which is the recovery. But as you mentioned were stole a little bit aways from that. This this is gonna be. Rescue suit today and tomorrow and the other thing that's happening in fact the FEMA director city yesterday. They're expecting 30000. People to be in shelters already this morning Tom Ellis is reporting from the convention center in Houston. They were planning for five there were RD nine that's almost double the number of people in the convention center. Now the city of Houston says they got two more. Areas that they're gonna open up worse felt physical they're going to open up and you're talking about 30000. People. We're a third of the way there already and as the FEMA director said that is going to be a heavy lift. How do you care for 30000 people they have a lot of food plates have a lot of water place people are making donations. You heard and make the call to go to a website and volunteer or where you can actually donate either cash or goods if you want to so this is all just starting to come up. First you have the rescue situation which is what we are still in and Houston. And it could be coming to Louisiana. And then you get to recovery and earlier today we were talking to team officials about the recovery and they say they're still trying to figure out the size and scope of this incident. Before they start talking about. Are we bring in mobile homes or bring in trailers that you have tents available so there's ways to shelter these 30000 people that may need homes in the short term. It's it is a long process is going to be a very long process and as a FEMA director said yesterday. The reason they need volunteers is to help Texas get ready for what he called the new normal in tax. Very long road ahead there David Curley in Washington DC thanks for joining us to. Let's head back out to the field now in Houston where Clayton and now has been covering them on the ground to fax. Of hardy and how people are dealing with this Clayton isn't an interesting point on the shelters I want to ask you about as David mentioned there. The convention center which everyone at that point to his party over a while and we've heard all these stories about. Houses of worship at churches mosques synagogues other stores high schools. Opening their doors just to take people in if their offense that there is a planned because it the next stage comes about. All these people who are being rescued will need someplace to go now. You know I think that people have. In having covered a lot of disasters like this I think the frustrating thing for people is. Not getting information quickly and sometimes information doesn't passes as. Smoothly as maybe officials would like so that even though you know this morning heard the mayor say that they are working on opening additional shelters. People want to know. What are that's going to be and how many people are gonna hauled in how they get there right away and you know indeed there is so much. Widespread devastation here in so many people to help. That oftentimes that means long waits and those weights you know our armed. You know you get very frustrating and and and people. You know are upset so. Yes sometimes it's a communication issues sometimes it's just that the mass of people that need to get moved. To somewhat that is safe. Were back here in the addicts reservoir area. And Allen's talked to a Kyle writes. Which lasting goods and Kyle Goodson who is here we we mentioned his house last time which still has power you can Steve satellite. Outside to Tommy. How things are gone and act. In sightings are actually. Well. We slot power like most of watching some African there. Really it's just a matter what's outside. So this this did rise pretty quickly and yes so I think the water actually started pushing back from the storm drain little after midnight. I was checking it every other hour and so by the time that I mean. Here widened in line in about twelve hours it's over halfway towards the house and who is here in this house my fiance and two cats. Your fiance and two cats so. Are you stay I mean you've got power electricity set your watch TV earlier what do you do so we I mean we got to updated eight about what's going on the reservoir. And it wasn't that we got the text explaining Terry TV's the written report about. It is going to be happening for at least another month. That we Anderson of Kate you know we need to start prepping now. Now we've heard a couple reports about it while it's not an emergency. Call this other number. How so it's a little confusion in terms about a when the time to call for a boat rescue and yet we're like he's house that we have moved premature opening captaincy but. What what what point are we supposed to leave I don't know that we and I've heard yet. And you there's no driving out of this neighborhood actually not we. Actually since this morning I just assumed aiko looks Judy great to be able to write your knives and a couple. Regular sex with its vehicle to make it out here but I. And SEC but that that's. So right now you're trying to figure out when that critical point is to call for help and it's action now let's hear we leave the decided we need to get out so I would like a water still low enough that we should be the lockout and over past school looks like there's. We'll open up hope that we yet so. Debts now. Now's the time ago okay and where will you go where Lee's day. We don't know part of what you're saying is where where to next. After their show is their shelter in this area they've heard about the Stuart Hampshire not looking at and now additionally and a son shelters allow animals some don't so. Having a couple cats well. Let me ask you about it have you been watching the mayor and officials are there answers satisfactory to you are is there. Things are not hearing that you need to hear want to hear about where to go shelters how to get help. There's a ton Evans certainty in this so IE. I think there's as much certainty as they can provide which site I respect that. This is very difficult then again coming from. The report that we got about the Reza where it's morning in a like they're trying to be. As forthcoming as possible so I think it's. Just a difficult situation. And one last question you told me earlier what I want for the audience's benefit how long have you lived in this house three months so we actually just bought the house back in name. Moved in everything is really pleasant. It's chains to little turn here so let's do it happens. Never expected this. RA can't dazzle that's sort of the latest from my attic ex addicts reservoir area here other gonna continue watching violence fiance are gonna. At out as soon as they can. And there's a guy over there if you can and of the left their Mo. Gentlemen is coming out of his house I believe he has got three or four cats in that carrier. Gently any family members behind as you know. Man looks like it was don't Bynum with a pet carriers while out really good luck. The best you are right there. Well lets you know we city bustle son Amir went all right. All right guys are and will continue to keep you posted on the reservoirs here. Back Dion. Clayton and bell live there for us in Houston thanks to you Clayton. It's just an unbelievable situation there on the ground some very much developing let's go back to Catherine falters he's outside the white house with us today and Catherine it strikes me as well the president goes back to. Washington DC back to the business that needs to get done. In the White House and we saw him there with all of his colleagues from Washington in that briefing senators cornyn and crews HHS director and others. This is what we should remind people the president previously threatened to shut down the government. Over funding for Hayes border wall at the same time congress is going to have tried to come together and figure out how to move forward funding to help people. In this region have been so badly affected do we know how the White House is going to come down when he. Comes to that. You know we don't yet we know as you mentioned what the president said yesterday he predicted that. It would be just fine but you have to wonder if he's perhaps brushing off of funding battle. In congress you mentioned that and senators crews in corn and I'm from Texas are both there with him it's it's a reminds her their colleague. Representative Peter King reminded them of this it's a reminder of Sandy's senators who voted again stat. Funding back then now you know it it's in their states so. The White House has it been positive us been optimistic. On funding there's there's no indication indication. Of that yet but it there definitely is the potential for there to be a funding battle in congress. Aren't that Katherine fathers live for us at the White House Catherine good to talk to you. And thanks to all of you for watching right now remember you can go to Any time to get the latest on hurricane party as it moves across southeast. And also to find out how you can help those have been affected for now I'm on in Abbas. And that the accuracy.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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