President Trump on Saturday congratulated the on-the-ground response to Hurricane Harvey for avoiding mistakes his predecessor made in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“We have fantastic people on the ground, got there long before #Harvey. So far, so good!" he tweeted.
He was responding to a warning from Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley announces reelection bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (R-Iowa) the day before to “keep on top” of Harvey in order to avoid repeating the “mistake” former President George W. Bush made during Hurricane Katrina.
"Got your message loud and clear,” Trump tweeted.
Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert, also a former homeland security adviser to Bush, spoke frankly of mistakes made during Katrina on Friday during a White House press briefing.
“I think it's not just what's on my mind but on the minds of all of the emergency managers in our community, especially those in Texas and Louisiana,” Bossert said of Katrina. “That experience is still in their minds, in their muscle memory. Congress has gotten better, passed laws to allow us flexibility to employ not just deploy in advance of an event.”
Bossert was one of the authors of the “lessons learned” document written post-Katrina. Bush was criticized for a delayed response to Katrina’s devastating impact on Louisiana.
Trump was quick to sign a disaster proclamation for Texas on Friday night ahead of the storm hitting the coast, which he tweeted “unleashes the full force of government help!”
On Saturday morning, he tweeted that Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long is “doing a great job” in his efforts to manage the hurricane impacts.
Harvey hit the Texas coast as a category 4 hurricane on Friday night. Overnight, the storm was downgraded to category 1, but remained a serious threat to southeast Texas. The full impact of the storm has not yet been tallied and catastrophic flood warnings were still in effect on Saturday.