Rebuilding Texas after Hurricane Harvey's devastation will top the $120 billion spent after Hurricane Katrina — and could balloon to between $150 and $180 billion, Gov. Gregg Abbott said Sunday.
In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," the Texas Republican said the area and population affected "by this horrific hurricane and flooding...is far larger than the population and geographic area of Katrina."
"The president has made it clear, Congress is making it clear, this [$7.85 billion in Harvey aid] is just a down payment," he said, adding: "It will require even more than was funded for Katrina, which was $120 billion....
"When you look at the number of homes and businesses affected by this, I think this will cost well over $120 billion… probably $150 to $180 billion."
During an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Abbott said the recovery and rebuilding efforts are "going to take a long time," declaring, "We are still in operational mode where we’re working to save every life."
He also told "State of the Union" that he approves of Texans getting started on cleanup of their homes and properties before they know what possible toxins have been left behind.
"What people need to do is just be very cautious in the way they respond," he said. "Do things like wear gloves, masks, clothing so your skin is not brushing up against what you're cleaning. People can begin the rebuilding process like we have seen across the state of Texas and already, and [I'm] so impressed with the work ethic of our fellow Texans about getting back and rebuilding."
"One way in which the Trump administration has been very, very responsive is having all their Cabinet members as well as the FEMA administrator in Texas constantly," he added.
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