President Donald Trump is donating $1 million of his personal money in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
“I’m happy to tell you that he would like to join in the effort that a lot of the people that we’ve seen across this country do,” said White House secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Aug. 31.
“He’s pledging a million dollars of personal money to the fund,” Sanders said.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump visited disaster-struck Texas on Tuesday. They will visit Texas and Louisiana as well this coming Saturday.
The president has been praised by local officials for his involvement and response to the disaster.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during Trump’s visit earlier this week that the president and his cabinet had been in contact with him and his team about ten days before the storm.
“I want you to know the gratitude the people of the state of Texas have for you,” Abbott said. “You helped Texas get prepared, providing us every resource and tool that we needed so that we could have a plan to respond to the catastrophe that was coming.”
At least 37 people have been killed as a result by Hurricane Harvey and the floodwater it dumped. Tens of thousands of people were driven from their homes after Harvey came ashore over the weekend as the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in a half-century.
Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic cost from Harvey for southeast Texas at $51 billion to $75 billion, ranking it among the costliest storms in U.S. history.
The U.S. government could provide up to $80 billion in aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey, only a fraction of what the total impact could be from the storm, Texas Representative Pete Sessions said on Thursday.
“Texas & Louisiana: We are w/ you today, we are w/ you tomorrow, & we will be w/ you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, & REBUILD!,” President Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Speaking at an event to kick off tax reform in Missouri, President Trump praised the first responders for their work.
“Our first responders have been doing absolutely heroic work to shepherd people out of harms way and their courage and devotion has saved countless lives,” he said.
“They represent truly the very best of America.”
At least $23 billion worth of property has been affected by flooding from Hurricane Harvey just in parts of Texas‘ Harris and Galveston counties, a Reuters analysis of satellite imagery and property data shows.
Additional reporting by Reuters