Hurricane Harvey recovery will be 'multiyear project,' Texas governor says

ABC News.(HOUSTON) — The crisis from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath is far from over in Texas, the governor told ABC News on Friday.

While the Houston area is drying out, revealing the extent of the damage, other Texas cities are still under water.

“As the waters recede in Houston, of course they’re still rising over in Beaumont,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in an interview today with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. “So we are having to, first of all, deal with the aftermath of the receding waters in Houston, while also deal with the emergency of rescuing people in the Beaumont, Texas, area.”

Officials in Beaumont, some 100 miles east of Houston, announced Thursday that Harvey’s floodwaters had disabled both the primary and secondary sources for the city’s water supply, leaving 120,000 residents without water.

Meanwhile, Harris County officials estimate some 30,000 to 40,000 homes have been destroyed in the Houston area alone.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management estimates a total of 93,942 homes in the Lone Star State have been damaged or destroyed by Harvey. And about 80 percent of Texans don’t have flood insurance.

Some 32,000 people remain in shelters across Texas, according to the governor.

Since making initial landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane in southeastern Texas last Friday, Harvey has dumped a total of 20 trillion gallons of rain on the Houston area.

Harvey made a third landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana, as a tropical storm on Wednesday morning. The storm weakened to a tropical depression that night and became a low-pressure system by Thursday.

Harvey’s remnants are expected to bring heavy rain to the Tennessee Valley and the Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

At least 39 people have died as a result of the storm’s wrath, according to reports.

Gov. Abbott told ABC News the geographic scope and scale of the disaster from Harvey in Texas will be “far larger” than Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and its aftermath.

“This is going to be a massive, massive cleanup process,” Abbott said on GMA. “People need to understand this is not going to be a short-term project. This is going to be a multi-year project for Texas to be able to dig out of this catastrophe.”

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