Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Vice President Pence surveys Harvey's wreckage in Texas

ROCKPORT, Texas — Walking door to door in the hurricane zone, Vice President Mike Pence surveyed Harvey's path of destruction Thursday and pledged that the Trump administration would help bring southeast Texas back "bigger and better than ever before."

Pence visited Rockport, the small coastal town where Harvey first slammed ashore as a Category 4 hurricane, and saw a church whose wall was blown out. He prayed with residents before taking a walking tour of a street where repairs are underway.

The extent of the destruction could be measured in the piles of garbage heaped outside nearly every home.

"It's a long way to go. It's not months, but it's years," Pence said of the recovery effort as First Baptist Church. "The challenges will be great but we know that the generosity and the prayers and the faith of the people of Texas and the American people will be greater still."

He added: "We are with you and we will stay with you until Rockport and all of southeast Texas come back."

Pence's wife, Karen, led community members in prayer outside the church. The couple shook hands with residents as the crowd sang "God Bless America."

Pence wore work gloves and helped clear away tree limbs and debris. He had a ready hug for one elderly resident, offering a more personal touch than did President Donald Trump, who was in Texas earlier in the week to attend briefings with emergency management officials.

During a 45-minute drive to the church, Pence's motorcade drove past a long row of utility poles that remained standing but at an angle. He saw scattered debris and some downed power lines. Residents of Rockport were among the first in the U.S. hit by Harvey.

The vice president, wearing jeans and cowboy boots, was joined by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a former Texas governor, and other Cabinet members.

Trump had traveled Tuesday to Corpus Christi and Austin for briefings with officials. He plans to return to Texas on Saturday and possibly visit Louisiana, parts of which are being lashed by Harvey's remnants.

The president drew criticism for not directly mentioning the loss of life and suffering of hurricane victims during his visit, and for tweeting Wednesday that after seeing "first hand the horror & devastation" wrought by Harvey "my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!"

But Trump saw little damage during his visit to Corpus Christi — mostly boarded-up windows, a few downed tree limbs and fences askew from his SUV as it whisked him from the airport to a firehouse for his first briefing.

Perry, briefing reporters aboard Air Force Two, said Trump had wanted to visit Texas on Monday but was advised to visit Corpus Christi or Austin "where no search-and-rescue resources would be pulled away."

"The president went to the right place. He literally and figuratively waved the flag," Perry said, noting the president's impromptu remarks to supporters gathered outside a Corpus Christi fire station that were capped with his waving of the Texas flag.

 
Comments
Black ice and brutal cold: Tampa Bay weathering short-lived arctic blast

Black ice and brutal cold: Tampa Bay weathering short-lived arctic blast

It’s freezing — literally.Wind-chill advisories are out as feels-like temperatures sit between a bitter 20 and 30 degrees during a blast of near record-breaking cold across Tampa Bay.Hard-freeze watches and warnings had been issued across Tampa Bay t...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Black ice in Tampa? Leaking water truck blamed for crash on Veterans Expressway

Black ice in Tampa? Leaking water truck blamed for crash on Veterans Expressway

TAMPA — A woman in a black BMW encountered a hazard on the Veterans Expressway she probably never expected in Tampa, especially on a dry day.Black ice. The woman was driving south about 6 a.m. Wednesday when she hit a patch of ice just south of Hutch...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Slow-moving winter storm leaves lingering effect in South

Slow-moving winter storm leaves lingering effect in South

DURHAM, N.C. — Several Southern states will be dealing with the lingering effects of a slow-moving winter storm that dumped a half-foot (15 centimeters) of snow on North Carolina’s largest cities, dusted the Deep South and killed at least 10 people. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shelters offer escape from the cold for those who need it

Shelters offer escape from the cold for those who need it

On warmer nights, Jerry Hardison can sleep for a few hours at the recycling center. He works 11-hour shifts there. He gets off at 2:30 a.m., then waits until the buses start running again.But not Wednesday."Getting out that time of the morning in the...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties.A cold air mass is moving southward through the Florida peninsula dropping temperatures across the Tampa Bay ar...
Published: 01/17/18
Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

Snow, ice and record cold grip the South; at least 8 dead

ATLANTA — A layer of snow and ice and a record-breaking blast of cold closed runways, highways, schools and government offices across the South and sent cars sliding off roads Wednesday in a swath of the country ill-equipped to deal with wintry weath...
Published: 01/17/18
Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Pasco opens cold shelters, joining Pinellas, Hillsborough and Hernando

Temperatures are set to drop Wednesday and keep dropping, Tampa Bay. It’s time to take tonight’s lows seriously.That’s why cold shelters are opening in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze w...
Published: 01/17/18
Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze watch. Cold spell headed for Tampa Bay.

Goodbye 70s. Hello freeze watch. Cold spell headed for Tampa Bay.

Did everyone enjoy the cool, sunny weather? Because it’s over now.It’s about to get very chilly, Tampa Bay. A rush of arctic air is headed our way, bringing another cold spell. Daytime temperatures will be in the low 60s on Wednesday, but overnight t...
Published: 01/16/18
How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

With forecasts predicting freezing temperatures for much of the Tampa Bay area, you may want to protect sensitive plants.The National Weather Service says a freeze watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning for Hillsborough, P...
Published: 01/16/18
Forecast: More warm weather, but frigid conditions are returning to Tampa Bay

Forecast: More warm weather, but frigid conditions are returning to Tampa Bay

The sunny skies and warmer temperatures that took hold on Martin Luther King Day will extend into Tuesday across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area They will last only a day, however, as the region will see a shor...
Published: 01/16/18