Report: Trump asks lawmakers for $7.9 billion for Harvey

Money would be for initial recovery efforts

President Donald Trump is requesting $7.9 billion from Congress for initial Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, The Associated Press reports.

The rain, mercifully, has stopped in southeast Texas. But a week after Hurricane Harvey, boaters still are shuttling people away from a few high-water areas as millions struggle with what the storm has left -- tens of thousands of destroyed homes and altered lives, and grim efforts to find those who may not have survived.

At least 47 people have died from the storm. Other statistics only begin to hint at the scope of the punishing deluge and what the months of recovery will entail:

About 27 trillion gallons of rain fell on Texas and Louisiana over six days -- enough to fill the Houston Astrodome 85,000 times. More than 72,000 people have been rescued. And about 136,000 structures were flooded in Harris County, home of Houston, alone -- about 10% of the structures on record there, the county says.

Flooding danger is far from over in places such as Beaumont, Texas, a city of 118,000 dealing with a cruel juxtaposition: inundated in spots with floodwater as its residents lack flowing tap water because two pumps there failed.

"The river ... on the east line of our city should crest today, and it will start falling, (but) our biggest situation is the water supply is cut off," said Capt. Brad Pennison of Beaumont's fire department.

Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference Friday the Neches River's water level continues to rise, and is nearly 7 feet above the record.

The loss of drinking water has forced an evacuation of patients from Beaumont's Baptist Hospital. Patients in intensive care already have been airlifted or taken by ambulance to other facilities, but officials still plan to evacuate 85 people -- including 11 babies born prematurely and three other newborns -- who remained there Friday morning.

 


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