Melania Trump, Karen Pence To Travel To Texas

First lady Melania Trump made a visit to the Coastal Bend to see areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Wochit

First lady Melania Trump greets students as they work Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, during a visit to Charlie Marshall Elementary School in Aransas Pass.(Photo: Casey Jackson/Caller-Times)

CONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDIN 6 COMMENTEMAILMORE

ROCKPORT, Texas — First lady Melania Trump visited Texas Wednesday to bring attention to the coastal region that was first affected by mega-storm Hurricane Harvey. Second lady Karen Pence; Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s wife, Cecilia Abbott; and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush accompanied her.

“We are here to lend our support to those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” Trump said. “My husband’s administration has worked with Governor Abbott to ensure resources are made available to help your community recover from the storm.”

The day's itinerary was filled with visits to several storm-ravaged communities and schools, but Trump's first order of business was saying "thank you."

Inside the Corpus Christi International Airport's Signature Hangar, the dignitaries deboarded the plane and met with more than 35 first responders, including military personnel and representatives from the Corpus Christi Fire Department, Rockport Police Department and the Nueces County Sheriff's Office.

More: From deluge to drought: Texas endures severe drought after Harvey

More: Nightmarish, destructive 2017 hurricane season comes to an end

Then the group headed to Rockport to tour the Dallas Street home built by Rosemary and Mario Zamorano.

Married for 20 years, the Zamoranos were raising their five children in the home when Harvey tore it shreds as the storm came ashore Aug. 25. 

The Category 4 storm devastated Aransas County when it whipped through with winds stronger than 130 mph. More than 80% of structures in the county were damaged and nearly 30% were destroyed.

>

First Lady Melania Trump (center) and second lady Karen Pence speak with members of the Zamorano family, whose home was damaged by Hurricane Harvey, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Rockport. (Photo: Casey Jackson/Caller-Times)

But along with the rest of the Rockport community, the family plans to rebuild and come back stronger than before.

“I want to thank Mario and Rosemary Zamorano and your wonderful children for allowing us to tour what was once your family home,” Trump said from behind a podium emblazoned with “Rebuild Texas.” “I am so impressed by your positive attitudes and resilient spirit, and look forward to the progress you will make as you rebuild your home and make new memories.”

More: Mattress Mack feeds Thanksgiving meals to thousands in Texas healing from Hurricane Harvey

More: Hurricane Harvey: Worker shortage slows rebuilding after storms

In the meantime the Zamoranos are one of nearly 600 families who have been given access to temporary housing through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Texas General Land Office, Bush said.

The visitors then headed to Charlie Marshall Elementary in Aransas Pass, where they visited two fourth-grade classrooms and sat in on a poetry lesson in the library.

The school district was forced by the storm to delay the start of classes by seven weeks. Middle school students still must attend classes at the elementary school while reconstruction continues at A.C. Blunt Middle School.

The last official stop was the Coastal Bend Food Bank, where the group visited with executive director Bea Hanson and helped volunteers box items. The roof of the facility’s warehouse still leaks because of Harvey’s wrath.

>

First lady Melania Trump helps label boxes Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, during a visit to the Coastal Bend Food Bank. Trump and second lady Karen Pence spent the day touring the Coastal Bend. (Photo: Casey Jackson/Caller-Times)

Retired Army Major Warren Phipps, who started volunteering at the food bank days after the storm hit, helped show the first lady the ropes. He took experience he gained from serving in Afghanistan to help his hometown community, according to his wife, Sylvia Phipps, who also is the agency relations coordinator for the food bank.

Before returning to the airport, the motorcade made an unscheduled stop at Whataburger on Old Brownsville Road.

While it’s not known if it was Trump’s first visit to the iconic fast food restaurant founded in Corpus Christi, it was the most documented.

Follow Julie Garcia on Twitter: @reporterjulie

Facebook
TwitterGoogle+LinkedInFirst Lady Melania Trump visits South Texas> Fullscreen

Posted!

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/06/melania-trump-karen-pence-visit-hurricane-harvey-ravaged-texas/929399001/

Melania Trump, Karen Pence visit Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Texas
Melania Trump and Karen Pence to visit Texas storm victims
Melania Trump, Karen Pence visit Whataburger for their fast food fix
Melania Trump and Karen Pence to visit Texas to continue hurricane relief efforts
Melania Trump, Karen Pence Dine at Whataburger During TX Visit, Treat Press to Lunch
RECAP: First lady Melania Trump, second lady Karen Pence visit Coastal Bend
Melania Trump and Karen Pence treat press to Whataburger lunch during Texas visit
Melania Trump, Karen Pence to visit Texas storm victims
Karen Pence, Melania Trump to Visit Texas Storm Victims