By Cathy Burke
It might take as long as two years to recover from the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, especially from flooding in Houston, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Newsmax TV on Thursday.
In an interview on “The Joe Pags Show,” the Republican executive said real challenge to the can-do spirit and generosity that is “typical Texas attitude” will be needed most when the record flooding recedes.
“Anyone who thinks this is going to be over in a day or two or a week or two is badly wrong,” he said. “This is going to take years to dig out of. This is a catastrophe – especially the flooding in the Houston area – that’s far larger than [Hurricane] Katrina.”
“We need the ongoing Texas attitude for another year or two to be the shining Lone Star that we are,” he added.
Abbott praised the “seamless” response from government at all levels and from first responders — but also Texans themselves.
“The thing that stands out about Texas is our fellow Texans helping their neighbors, their friends and even strangers,” he said. “You will see these people break up their own . . . boat and go rescue people in the flooded waters of Houston. . . . You’ll see strangers taking in strangers into their homes and helping them to safety.
“This is typical Texas attitude: ‘Listen, we got this, we can handle this.'”
Abbott said he aimed to remain calm throughout the harrowing destruction.
“The reason why we’ve gotten where we are right now is because everybody has kept a level head,” he said. “And we need to continue to do that for today, tomorrow, throughout the next year. If we all keep our head, everything is going to work out just fine.”
Abbott also praised Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the ravaged state Thursday.
“He was moved by the incredible damage . . . but also moved by the resiliency of the Texas spirit,” he said. “I got to hold a 2-week-old baby, a baby that was born just days before the hurricane crossed our shores with his mother, beaming, just happy to be alive, happy to be a Texan. That’s what the Texas spirit is all about.”