A traffic accident in El Campo, Texas, Thursday afternoon cut short a tour of Hurricane Harvey damage and a planned press briefing from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, and Texas State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
As the tour group was leaving an event with producers a vehicle traveling with them was involved in the traffic accident. Two House Agriculture Committee staff members and one USDA staff member were treated and released at a hospital in El Campo.
The three were being transported to Houston late Thursday afternoon to make flights back to Washington.
Secretary Perdue, Chairman Conaway and Commissioner Miller were riding in separate vehicles and were not involved in the accident.
The House Agriculture Committee released a statement Thursday evening.
“We feel incredibly blessed to report that following today’s car accident involving two members of the House Agriculture Committee staff and one USDA staff member, all those involved in the accident have been discharged from El Campo Memorial Hospital. Our team offers its thanks to the first responders, doctors, nurses and staff for their excellent care. Chairman Conaway and Secretary Perdue, who were riding in separate vehicles at the time of the accident, continue offering their prayers and well wishes to those involved and thank the agriculture community for the outpouring of support and kindness.”
Secretary Perdue, along with Chairman Conaway and Commissioner Miller, met with farmers earlier in the day, observing cotton fields that were covered in floodwaters from the torrential rains spawned by Hurricane Harvey. They saw modules blown apart by high winds and noted the stench coming from rotting cotton in ruined modules.
They also toured a cotton gin that will try to salvage some of the damaged cotton.