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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: 'Compare it to Katrina'

Posted at 11:11 AM, Sep 03, 2017
 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that his state was going to need a massive commitment from the federal government as it begins to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.

"Let's not compare it to Sandy. Let's compare it to Katrina," Abbott told CNN's Dana Bash.

Abbott said the recovery from Harvey would require even more money than the package Congress appropriated for Hurricane Katrina relief, saying the total population and geographic range affected by Harvey could surpass both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy combined.

"It's going to take years for us to be able to overcome this challenge," Abbott said.

President Donald Trump has requested more than $7 billion dollars from Congress for an initial response to the damage from the storm. Abbott said all involved have made it clear this request was a "down payment" for what he estimated would be more than a $120 billion cost for the recovery effort.

The storm and its resulting flooding damaged much of coastal Texas and Louisiana, and toxic waste sites in the region have sustained damage, increasing concern about toxic chemicals making their way into the environment.

Abbott said the EPA was prepared to go into these damaged sites "as quickly as possible" and cautioned people further about toxic substances in the waters all over, not just near the sites.

"These waters are filled both with chemicals, with waste and things like that, that can pose real health hazards," Abbott said.

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TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

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HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.