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.
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. 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.”
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. 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
Source : http://www.ksdk.com/article/news/nation-now/melania-trump-karen-pence-visit-hurricane-harvey-ravaged-texas/465-58274d93-57cf-4f8b-8233-dcfbac96a47d