President Trump joked during a briefing at an emergency operations center in Austin, Texas, that Harvey, the moniker given to the storm slamming the Gulf Coast, sounds like a pleasant name.

"Probably there's never been anything so expensive in our country's history. There's never been anything so historic in terms of damage and in terms of ferocity as what we've witnessed with Harvey. Sounds like such an innocent name, Ben, right, but it's not innocent," Trump said, referring to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who also attended the meeting of officials.

Trump said the end to the flooding that has engulfed coastal parts of Texas and Louisiana has no end in sight.

"And the sad thing is the never seen anything this long, and nobody's ever seen this much water in particular. The wind was pretty horrific, but the water has never been seen like this to the extent. It's maybe someday going to disappear. We keep waiting," Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Trump and first lady, Melania toured parts the coastal city of Corpus Christi, near where Harvey, as a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall Friday.