Hurricane Harvey wreaks devastation on Houston, Texas


Thia Haney

“We are way better off than most. The water is still rising very fast, at about five feet an hour. Rain has slowed down for now. It is going to sit on top of us for three more days so it’s only a matter of time,” said Scott Bauer, a resident of Houston, in an interview.

Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak damage on Texas even after the original hurricane had diminished. 300,000 people have been left without power and tens upon thousands find shelter after their homes have been destroyed.

“It’s not good. The fourth largest city in the US is underwater. It looks like Venice, Italy. We are on the north end at a higher elevation and the water is about to come into our house. And it’s supposed to sit here for three more days. We moved everything we need to survive up to the second story,” said Scott Bauer, a resident of Houston, in an interview.

Tens of thousands of flood victims have found shelter at the Toyota Center, the NRG center, and numerous other areas as homes and apartment complexes have been completely destroyed. There have been at least 38 deaths and countless more injuries. Houston’s homeless got the brunt of the hit, even as Red Cross and other homeless outreach centers attempt to find shelter for them aside from the low-lying areas where they usually reside.

Emergency responders have been aided by an eager group of volunteers and various others who donate items in hopes of being able to assist those affected by Harvey. On Monday, US Coast Guard Lieutenant Mike Hart said in an article by CNN, “The Coast Guard is continuing to receive upwards of 1,000 calls per hour. Today alone, the Coast Guard has rescued over 3,000 people. That includes both air rescues and rescues using boats.” By Tuesday night, thousands had been brought to safety; although this victory was short-lived with thousands more still waiting to be rescued.

Lambert alumni and former Senior Editor of the Lambert Post, Hannah Kim, currently attends Rice University in Houston, Texas. “….I’ve actually been very fortunate. Since I live on Rice’s campus, I have a roof over my head, food to fill my belly, and a lot of things to entertain me,” she said, “But I know that parts of the city (even parts of the campus where I’m not) are very flooded. The rain has been ongoing for the past few days, and schools all across the city have been canceled.”

Several variables factor into why Hurricane Harvey was so destructive. Not only did it rapidly transform from a category one hurricane to a category four hurricane, but it managed to stay in Texas for an unusually long time. This could possibly be due to the fact that the hurricane is continuing to gather moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the damage occurred from the enormous amount of rain accompanying Harvey.

As floodwaters recede, a fire at a Texan chemical plant began to take place. Flooding continues to be a possible danger around the Texas-Louisiana, and the death toll continues to rise. Houston is attempting to refocus and rebuild itself, though the Federal Emergency Management Agency expects to be in Houston for many years to come. The recovery housing efforts that will follow after the floodwaters fully diminish will be one of the largest US efforts yet and are likely to surpass that of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Allison in 2001.

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