Ted Cruz on Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today joined Fox News’ ‘America’s News HQ,’ The Weather Channel, and CNN’s ‘Newsroom’ to urge Texans to heed warnings from local officials and avoid all high water areas. Sen. Cruz also discussed his efforts to allocate resources into the affected regions.

On Fox News, Sen. Cruz urged Texans to avoid high water areas, and heed warnings from local officials.

“The state of Texas is hurting right now,” Sen. Cruz said to Fox News’ Eric Shawn. “My hometown of Houston, we’ve got flooding throughout much of the city. We’ve got about 2,000 high-water rescues that have been ongoing. We’ve been seeing resources pouring into the region both from the state of Texas and at the federal level, but this is a 500-year flood and Harvey is predicted to stay here and keep dumping a significant amount of water on the region. The message I would say to folks in and around Houston and in affected areas is listen to your local officials, monitor the news but stay safe and don’t go out on the roads if you don’t have to. The roads are very dangerous, and every time we have an incident like this, the most frequent cause of loss of life is people that go out on the roads in a car, and they think they can make it across water, and they can’t. You and your family’s life could be put in jeopardy very quickly. So stay in your home, stay safe, stay high if you can if water is rising. But don’t risk the roads unless it’s absolutely an emergency.”

On the Weather Channel, Sen. Cruz discussed his efforts to mobilize and allocate resources to areas affected by the ongoing flooding and disaster.

“A great many communities on the Gulf Coast are hurting, and as you know, Harvey is expected to stay here and continue to dump massive levels of rain which is going to only exasperate the flooding,” Sen. Cruz said to Mike Bettes. “State officials, local officials, federal officials are all concentrating primarily on rescues right now. Just in the city of Houston, there are over 2,000 high water rescues that are ongoing. There are a lot of people who in distress and seeing flood waters rise.”

Sen. Cruz continued, “I spent much of the day talking to the mayor in Houston, the county judge in Houston, the county judge in Galveston and in Brazoria and asking, ‘what are the challenges?’ The number one challenge the local officials are telling me is we need additional assets for high water rescues. That we’ve got a substantial number deployed, but that the need is even greater than the capacity. I just got off the phone 20 minutes ago with Governor Abbott, who the state has deployed 60 boats to the Houston area and 20 helicopters. They’ve sent about 500 DPS troopers to Houston and have mobilized a total of about 3,000 National Guards. I’ve had conversations today with FEMA leadership about mobilizing federal assets to get additional boats on the ground, or on the water, additional trucks, additional helicopters. And then we’re seeing from across the country, ten different states have already provided resources. We’re really seeing an outpouring of help.”

On CNN, Sen. Cruz discussed the federal resources that have been allocated to the affected region, and thanked first responders for putting themselves in harms way to help their fellow Texans.

“I spoke to the president earlier, and he committed swift and immediate federal resources and all the support the state needed,” Sen. Cruz said to Fredricka Whitfield. “I was very appreciative of his direct and personal level of concern. Yesterday I spoke with Vice President Pence right after the President had convened a video conference cabinet meeting, and the Vice President conveyed to me, the President directed every cabinet official to move as swiftly as humanly possible to marshal resources on ground to meet the need. We’ve been seeing that level of cooperation. In fact the Governor told me he’s in the process of signing an agreement with the federal government to create a duel status command center so that you don’t have the problems of coordination between the state and federal government that we’ve seen in other disasters.”

Sen. Cruz continued, “Our first responders, the incredible bravery of police offers and fire fighters and paramedics and National Guardsman and so many people that are just risking their lives. And as you know you mentioned a minute ago, also just neighbors helping neighbors in Houston and Galveston, there’s been a call to private citizens, if you’ve got a flat bottom boat and can assist in rescue efforts, to do so. And that’s one of the most incredible things we see is whenever natural disasters strike, in Texas and sadly we’re big enough that we’ve had a significant number of natural disasters, we always see Texans coming together and neighbors helping neighbors and we’re seeing that right now as well.”