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Vice President Pence speaks in Greenbrier County, W.Va.

01 September 2017

He said the people of Texas - from citizens to first responders to state leaders - have inspired the entire nation with their courage and your resilience.

Vice President Mike Pence told Texans in a Thursday press conference that President Donald Trump wanted him to tell them that "we love Texas".

Abbott, who has earned praise for his oversight of the crisis response, said Sunday will be a day to pray for those affected by Harvey, which hit the Texas coast Friday as a Category 4 hurricane then lingered over the Houston area as a tropical storm, dumping as much as 50 inches of rain on some areas.

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The vice president landed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and was greeted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Cabinet secretaries are pitching in to help.

The president later drew flak for saying he witnessed "first hand" the destruction caused by the storm and massive flooding - even though he didn't visit any storm-damaged areas or meet with survivors. Residents of Rockport were among the first in the US hit by Harvey, which came ashore last Friday as a Category 4 hurricane.

The officials - including Pence, second lady Karen Pence and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke - made several passes picking up large branches.

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"He met with a number of state and local officials who are eating, sleeping, breathing the Harvey disaster". The small coastal city has a population of around 10,000 people and faced a direct hit from Harvey when it first made landfall, leveling some structures entirely.

He plans to return to Texas on Saturday and could also make a stop in Louisiana, which is now being lashed by Harvey's remnants. "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.

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Vice President Pence speaks in Greenbrier County, W.Va.