The White House said this week it would ask Congress for emergency funding to help pay for recovery in Texas and Louisiana from mega-storm Harvey, as a top official said the number of homes affected had hit 100,000.
“We’re going to have damage to publicly owned infrastructure,” said Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert.
The administration will “put together a responsible supplemental request for Congress,” he added.
Bossert did not say how much money would be requested, but it could run in the billions of dollars, putting pressure on already strained finances.
The announcement came as the ast scale of the damage from Harvey began to come into focus.
“These are estimates at this point, but it looks like round about 100,000 affected homes,” he said. “That’s a big number. We’re going to have 100,000 affected homes, all with different degrees of insurance — some with flood insurance, some underinsured, some uninsured.”
The White House also announced that President Trump would personally donate US$1 million to the recovery effort.
Despite clear skies over the past days, the city of Houston remains paralysed by flooding caused by the storm, while other parts of Texas were still reeling from Harvey’s impact.
New evacuations were ordered around swollen reservoirs and a flooded chemical plant, where stockpiles of volatile liquids have become unstable without refrigeration due to power outages.
The city of Beaumont, population 120,000, lost all running water Thursday due to flooded pumping stations, local officials said.
Some 7,000 patients were evacuated from medical facilities in and around Beaumont, Bossert said.
Harvey made landfall in Texas a week ago as a category- 4 hurricane, bringing record-breaking downpours that reached 125 centimetres around Houston.
US Vice President Mike Pence assured storm-hit Texas of federal support for the state as it recovers and rebuilds from hurricane-related flooding.
“We are with you. The American people are with you,” Pence told a crowd in Rockport, Texas, located on the Gulf of Mexico. “We are here today — we will be here tomorrow.”