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Hurricane Harvey’s Horror

Georgia Morris

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The fourth largest city in the United States has recently been overwhelmed by the hurricane-turned-tropical storm Harvey as it unloads immense amounts of rain upon Houston and other areas of Texas and moves on to Louisiana. Harvey started out as a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 132-mph and was later downgraded to a tropical storm, but is still wreaking havoc on the state of Texas with extremely heavy rains, tornados, and lightning. Parts of Texas experienced 24 inches of rain in the first 24 hours and certain areas experienced up to 50 more inches of rain over the past few days. The rapid fire rain coming from this tropical storm is causing life-threatening flooding in areas across Texas. Harvey’s destructive path and slow-moving pace is making it the most powerful hurricane to affect Texas in over 50 years. There have been at least 37 reported deaths due to this storm. One woman was killed after driving her car into standing water, and officials are urging people not to venture out into standing or rushing water in panic. Some people have been trying to take shelter in their attics to escape rising floodwaters, but officials are telling people not to take shelter into their attics unless they have an ax to break through their roof.

The overwhelming rains have left over 300,000 without power and thousands of people displaced. The overwhelming damage and destruction coming from this hurricane is captivating all available supplies. Boat assisted authorities have been making rescue efforts, but official are lacking enough resources and have asked for private boat owners’ help. Both the Texas National Guard and the United States Coast Guard have been participating in rescue efforts, but local Texans are also taking on floodwaters with their personal boats and their courage to perform rescues within their communities. The federal government has delivered 2.5 million meals and 530,000 gallons of drinking water to devastated areas already. The Dallas George R. Brown convention center was turned into a “mega shelter” and housed 9,000 evacuees on its first night alone. The mega shelter is going to be staffed with doctors working in a medical facility, include an in-shelter pharmacy set up by Walmart, and will have charging ports so that evacuees can charge their devices in hopes of staying in touch with friends and family.

Damaged infrastructure and flood waters have stopped traffic in many parts of Texas. The weather has left parts of major interstate highways like 10, 45, and 610 unpassable. Railway services have currently been halted and airports have been temporarily closed in the immediate Houston area. However, with all eyes on Texas, Trump travelled there on Tuesday to show support for the citizens devastated by the storm and to assess damage. He travelled to the Austin and Corpus Christi areas on Tuesday, temporarily avoiding the Houston area until continuously rising floodwaters become less threatening. Trump is confident that the federal government will handle the aftermath of the storm very well and Houston will be up and running quickly. Congress allowed over 100 billion dollars in aid after hurricane Katrina and 51 billion dollars in aid after hurricane Sandy despite lack of Texan lawmakers’ support. Although lawmakers from states affected by Sandy remember Texas’ lack of support at the time, lawmakers said they would put the past behind them to afford congressional money to Texas.

The storm is slowly making it’s way out of Texas and into Louisiana as it loses force. Those in Texas who have been devastated by the storm are trying to find ways to temporarily live and are thankful for what they still have. Hopefully, Texas will be on to the road to recovery soon, no matter how slow it may be.

Here are a few pictures taken by my uncle who lives in Beaumont, Texas when he and some others went out on local rescue missions.

 

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Hurricane Harvey’s Horror