Trump prepares to visit Texas in the wake of devastating Hurricane Harvey
President Donald Trump is preparing to visit Texas to view the federal government's response to Harvey's devastating flooding as his administration vowed to help the millions of residents dealing with the catastrophic storm.
Harvey represented the first major natural disaster of the Trump presidency and a significant test for a White House that is often chaotic and rife with infighting.
Attention on Harvey from officials, the public and the news media also allowed President Trump to refocus after a turbulent stretch that included his widely criticised response to the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Vice President Mike Pence said in a series of radio interviews on Monday that the Trump administration would "be there for the long haul to help rebuild Texas and all the affected areas from Hurricane Harvey".
He estimated 500,000 Americans could be eligible for disaster assistance.
"The president has been continuously engaged in this. We've all been deeply concerned by the impact of this storm," Mr Pence told KTRH radio in Houston.
"We're saddened by the loss of life and the president is anxious to come to the region."
Mr Pence said President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Cabinet officials would visit on Tuesday.
President Trump spent most of the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, and convened his Cabinet by telephone during the weekend.
He tweeted on Sunday a promise of a Texas visit "as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption" - later announced by the White House as Tuesday.
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Details on the president's itinerary were not yet immediately available.
But by traveling to the region just days after Harvey made landfall, the president raised questions among his critics on whether his presence would complicate efforts by emergency responders to help Texans still in need.
Jennifer Psaki, a former aide to President Barack Obama, tweeted: "It is always a tricky calculation on when to go, but @realDonaldTrump going too early to Texas (tues) would divert significant resources."
Texas Gov Greg Abbott, a Republican and Trump ally, however, loaded heavy praise on the president and the federal government, describing it as an "A-plus" effort.
"I've got to tell you, I give Fema a grade of A+, all the way from the president down," Mr Abbott said.
"I've spoken to the president several times, to his Cabinet members, such as secretary of homeland security, such as the administrator of Fema, such as Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services."
The devastating storm has dumped more than two feet of rain, sending thousands of people in Houston to rooftops for rescue and prompting a warning from Federal Emergency Management Agency director Brock Long of a "landmark event" that could require years to get damaged areas back on track.
Harvey made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Friday night as a Category 4 storm near Corpus Christi, and moved north east along the Texas coast over Houston.
Mr Abbott said he expected heavy rain "for days to come".
The governor commended President Trump for being "extremely professional, very helpful" in moving quickly to grant his request on Friday for an immediate disaster declaration, which triggers additional federal assistance to aggrieved areas.
Meanwhile, a group of pensioners who were caught in the extreme flooding after an image of their almost submerged nursing home went viral on social media.
The distressing image was posted alongside an appeal for help.
It was later confirmed that 15 people were rescued from La Vita Bella, an assisted living facility in Dickinson, about 30 miles south of Houston.