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- Harvey and Irma to slow U.S. economy but rebound should follow
- U.S. House to vote on $7.9 billion Harvey relief bill
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- Shelter dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey arrive in Chattanooga [photos]
- Mnuchin: Congress must tie Harvey aid to raising debt limit
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- 3 tornadoes in Tennessee blamed on Harvey
- Upbeat Trump pitches in at shelter for Harvey victims
- Trump asks for $7.9 billion down payment for Harvey relief
- As floodwaters recede, Houston officials look to recovery [photos, interactives]
- 'Don't touch me. I'm dying.' Harrowing Harvey stories emerge [photos, interactives]
- Local animal shelters open doors for furry flood victims from Texas, Louisiana
- Likely tornado damages homes as Harvey hits Deep South [photos, interactives]
- Gas prices rise after Harvey reduces flow from refineries, pipeline [photos, interactives]
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- Western Louisiana in crosshairs as Harvey moves back to land [photos, interactives]
- Forecast brings hope as new shelters open, death toll rises [photos]
- Trump reassures those in Harvey's path that he will help [photos]
- Here are some ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey
- Bracing for Harvey's return, worry renews: Is worst to come? [photos, interactives]
- Sohn: What lessons will we learn from Harvey?
- Chattanooga medical teams, volunteers aid Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
- More rain, more deaths: Harvey floods keeps Houston paralyzed
- Harvey slams region's economy, with damages in the billions
- Trump issues emergency declaration for Harvey in Louisiana
- Tennessee organization starts Harvey relief fund
- Desperate Harvey victims turn to social media to get rescued
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- A Houston family endured Harvey until the house was swamped
- Scientists say Harvey may be the soggy sign of future storms
- Residents in photo of flooded nursing home are 'doing fine'
- Photo of mother and baby's rescue becomes symbol of storm
- Public health dangers loom in Harvey-hit areas
- Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods
- Harvey dilemma: Stay as water rises or risk flooded roads?
- Harvey spins deeper inland; full scope of damage is unknown
- Hurricane Harvey closes key oil, gas operations in Texas
- Houston roads start to flood as Harvey stalls
- Expert: Harvey weakened fast, but destruction just beginning
- Fearsome Hurricane Harvey slams into Texas Gulf Coast
- Menacing Harvey knocking on Texas coast as Category 4 storm
- Texas prepares as Harvey strengthens to Category 2 storm [interactive]
- Sandbags, plywood, generators: Texas coast braces for Harvey
HOUSTON (AP) - President Donald Trump cupped a boy's face in his hands and then gave him a high-five. He snapped on latex gloves to hand out boxed lunches of hot dogs and potato chips. And he loaded relief supplies into vehicles, patted storm victims on the shoulder and declared the work "good exercise."
An upbeat and optimistic president visited with victims of Harvey on Saturday, touring a Houston mega-shelter housing hundreds of displaced people and briefly walking streets lined with soggy, discarded possessions. Trump met the scene with positivity, congratulating officials on an emergency response still in progress and telling reporters that he'd seen "a lot of love" and "a lot of happiness" in the devastation the storm left behind.
"As tough as this was, it's been a wonderful thing," Trump said of the Harvey response after spending time with displaced children inside NRG Center, an emergency refuge housing about 1,800 evacuees.
The trip, to Houston and Lake Charles, Louisiana, was Trump's second to survey Harvey's wake and a chance for a president to strike a more sympathetic tone. He'd rushed to Texas on Tuesday, heading to Corpus Christi and Austin to talk to first responders. "What a crowd, what a turnout," he'd said as he stood outside a firehouse.
He had minimal interaction with residents, saw no damage and offered few expressions of concern while on the ground, unusual omissions for a presidential visit to communities in crisis.
That made Saturday something of a do-over.
Joined by first lady Melania Trump, the president went directly to the NRG Center and was greeted warmly by volunteers and children. The Trumps brought coloring books and crayons and sat with families that had been displaced. Trump lifted one little girl into his arms and gave her a kiss. He signed his name on the cement wall by the children's artwork.
With a wide smile and quick banter, Trump served food in the lunch line - at one point joking about his hands being too big for the sanitary gloves - and then moved on to First Church in the Houston suburb of Pearland. The Trump greeted a group of volunteers and lavished praise on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for his state's response.
"I want to congratulate the governor," he said. "I want to congratulate everybody that's worked so hard. It's been an incredible five days, six days. It seems like it's been much longer than that, but actually it's going so well that it's going fast, in a certain sense."
The Trumps then helped load small boxes and bottles of water into pickup trucks and minivans.
"I like doing this," Trump told one of the volunteer coordinators. "I like it."
As Trump visited, the Houston area was still burying its dead and trying to contain the mess. Nearby Beaumont, Texas, population 120,000, was struggling to restore its drinking water. Firefighters in Crosby, outside of Houston, were warily eyeing the Arkema chemical plant, twice the scene of explosions. Floodwaters had inundated at least seven highly contaminated toxic waste sites in the Houston area, raising concerns about creeping pollution.
Harvey is blamed for at least 43 deaths and believed to have damaged at least 156,000 dwellings in Harris County. The American Red Cross said more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters such as the one Trump visited.
The White House has asked Congress to approve a $7.9 billion Harvey relief down payment when lawmakers return to Washington on Tuesday.
During his brief stop in Lake Charles, Trump met with first responders and a group of volunteers known as the Cajun Navy, many of whom were in cowboy hats and waders. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards accompanied him. Trump supporters lined the route to and from the National Guard Armory, and before departing for Washington, the president posed for photos with law enforcement officers who'd led his motorcade.
In Texas, the Trumps were joined by an entourage that included four Cabinet officials, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Before leaving for Louisiana he stopped by a street that had only recently again become passable.
"These are people that have done a fantastic job of getting things together," he said as people stood near ripped-out drywall and trash bags piled high at their curbs.
He spotted a man wearing a red "Trump is my president" T-shirt and pulled him in front of news cameras. "Look at this guy," he said. "You just became famous."