United States President Donald Trump is meeting people caught up in the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
The hurricane made landfall in the state a week ago, causing devastating floods.
Some residents have been allowed to return to their homes but flood waters are still rising in other areas.
Harvey has been blamed for at least 47 deaths, and about 43,000 people are currently housed in shelters. Mr Trump has asked Congress for $7.8bn (£6bn).
The sum would be an initial payment to help with recovery efforts following the flooding in both Texas and Louisiana, which has also hit production at America’s main petrol and oil refining centre.
President Trump and his wife Melania visited Texas earlier in the week but stayed clear of the disaster zone, saying they did not want to divert resources from rescue efforts.
However, the president was criticised for not meeting victims of the flooding and for focusing largely on the logistics of the government response.
Visiting Texas again on Saturday, Mr and Mrs Trump made a point of meeting flood survivors and volunteers in Houston.
They took part in food distribution at a shelter, handing out packed lunches, and posed for photographs with victims when they requested it.
Later in the week, they are expected to travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was also hit by flash floods.
President Trump has declared Sunday a “National Day of Prayer” for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Emergency funds request
Administration officials say there will be further requests for funds when the full impact of Hurricane Harvey becomes known.
In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney warned that failure to raise the US debt ceiling could hinder recovery efforts.
The debt ceiling is a cap on the total amount the US government can borrow. Only Congress can raise that limit.
“This request is a down-payment on the president’s commitment to help affected states recover from the storm, and future requests will address longer-term rebuilding needs,” Mr Mulvaney said.
He said almost half a million households had registered for support for rental assistance and for essential home repairs.
He called on Congress to act “expeditiously to ensure that the debt ceiling does not affect these critical response and recovery efforts”.
A vote on the emergency request is expected next week.
It is believed that about 80% of Texans do not have flood insurance to cover the wreckage.
Harvey dumped an estimated 20 trillion gallons of rain on the Houston area. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm but continued to batter Texas and parts of neighbouring Louisiana.
Governor Abbott has warned that the recovery programme will be a “multi-year project”.
“This is going to be a massive, massive clean-up process,” he told ABC News.
As the water recedes in Houston a huge clean-up operation is under way. Firefighters have been carrying out door-to-door searches in an operation that could take up to two weeks.
Mr Abbott warned that in some parts of the state, rivers were still rising and flooding “poses an ongoing threat”.