Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, meaning that it had winds of 130 miles per hour. Before the hurricane hit, Governor Abbott declared it a disaster for 30 counties. He and the Governor of Louisiana then jointly requested a federal disaster declaration from the President. Shortly thereafter President Trump issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties in Texas, allowing federal money to aid in recovery efforts.
Hurricane Harvey led to the loss of life in Houston and Rockport. The hurricane was worst on the coast where it flooded Houston, Rockport, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, Bay Town, Port Arthur, and many other coastal cities, demolishing homes and businesses. One thing that set Hurricane Harvey apart from other hurricanes was the fact that it stalled after making landfall and dropped over 9 trillion gallons of water in Houston and Southeast Texas.
While residents in most coastal cities were told to evacuate, Houston and Corpus Christi residents were told to shelter in place by local officials. This was the right call for these large cities considering the sheer number of people that would have had to evacuate and the fact that during Hurricane Rita when many coastal residents fled, dozens died from heat related illnesses and accidents.
With the massive amounts of rain, many Houston buildings and homes flooded, meaning that thousands of residents had to be rescued by the Coast Guard. Emergency dispatchers in Houston were overwhelmed with calls as they received over 56,000 calls in 15 hours (Source). By Monday afternoon on August 28th most in need had been rescued, but there were still people who needed help.
Upon moving further inland, Hurricane Harvey decreased in intensity and was downgraded, but it still impacted communities in San Antonio and Austin, with some minor flooding and power outages. Moreover, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas took in thousands of Harvey evacuees and continue to provide shelter and services. Eagle Pass also had a shelter open and was pitching in to house evacuees.
Although Hurricane Harvey has been an extremely devastating event for Texas and our communities, Texans have shown that they are a hearty bunch that care about their neighbors and are willing to do whatever it takes to help them. Many Texans launched their boats and went to rescue people in their community. In areas that were less affected, residents opened up their homes to those who had to evacuate and schools provided shelter. In the worst times we see some of the best of humanity come out.
If you want to help, you can provide financial support to the following organizations:
Friends of the Bexar County Child Welfare Board
For more information, call Senator Uresti’s District Office at (210) 932-2568.
The Red Cross:
An internationally known organization, the Red Cross works to provide services to evacuees and refugees in disasters across the globe. The Red Cross has set up a number of shelters across Texas for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Texas Diaper Bank:
This organization is providing relief kits for families with small children including clean diapers to those need, including evacuees of the storm.
Houston Food Bank:
This food bank is in one of the hardest hit areas and is providing food and support to those in need.
San Antonio Food Bank:
Many evacuees of Harvey fled to San Antonio where over 1,000 have found shelter. The San Antonio Food Bank is helping to feed and provision them.