Donald Trump, meet Hurricane Harvey – your first natural disaster

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A sign reading "Be Nice Harvey" was left behind on a boarded up business on Thursday in Port Aransas, Texas. Port Aransas is under a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Harvey. AP/Eric Gay

Eight months into his presidency, Donald Trump faces his first major natural disaster this weekend. Harvey has intensified into a hurricane and forecasters have predicted landfall along the Gulf Coast of Texas late today or early Saturday.

Forecasters labeled it a “life-threatening storm” that posed a “grave risk,” and the fiercest hurricane to hit the United States in a dozen years. Millions of people braced for a prolonged battering that could swamp dozens of counties more than 100 miles inland.

On his blog, Jamie Dupree of WSB Radio fame notes that nothing on Trump’s schedule today indicates  interaction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, although late Friday the president Tweeted out a video of a recent visit to FEMA headquarters.

Trump will ride the storm out from Camp David, his second visit to the retreat. Notes Dupree:

You want some political controversy? Then just imagine where we are in early September if Harvey turns into a giant storm that brings major damage in coastal areas of Texas, with a recovery price tag running into the tens of billions of dollars.

Turn back the clock to 2013, in the time after Hurricane Sandy, and you’ll see the furor on Capitol Hill after some GOP lawmakers tried to force offsetting budget cuts to pay for an initial round of money for the federal flood insurance program…

The flood program is already $23 billion in the red – without counting this weekend’s damage.

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