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Trump Seeks $7.85bn for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

Donald Trump has asked Congress for an initial $7.85bn (£6.1bn) in disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Sky News reports.

The request comes ahead of the US President’s second visit to the storm-ravaged region later, when he will visit Houston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told Congress: “This request is a down-payment on the President’s commitment to help affected states recover from the storm, and future requests will address longer-term rebuilding needs.”

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said further funding requests would come in stages as more became known about the impact of the storm.

Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century, and went on to dump unprecedented amounts of rain and wreak devastation across more than 300 miles (480 km) of the state’s coast.

More than 1 million people have been displaced and officials said at least 46 are feared dead.

The US Coast Guard said it had rescued at least 3,000 people from floodwaters in the last 48 hours, while more than 150,000 homes have been flooded in one county of Texas alone.

More than 46,000 Texans have seen their properties badly damaged with 9,000 homes destroyed.

As many as 20,000 homes in western Houston could also continue to be flooded for up to 15 days as authorities told residents to evacuate as they planned a release from two reservoirs to protect the centre of the city.

Two trailers of highly unstable compounds also blew up at a chemical plant east of Houston. An executive said further blasts were likely in six other trucks storing the same chemicals.


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