Houston Struggles After Hurricane Floods City
As Houston recovers from Hurricane Harvey, the fear grows.
More rain is expected as Texans salvage what is left from their used-to-be homes.
Sooner born Brandon Choate, 24, recently moved to Houston. He said he’s heard helicopters and other emergency vehicles everyday.
“It’s a very surreal scenario that I’m not quite used to,” Choate said. “At this point, we’re all just counting the days until the rain stops, so the city can start to rebuild.”
Luckily, Choate hasn’t seen the same type of damage other areas have seen.
“We really only had severe flooding in our neighborhood yesterday.” Choate said, “It was about afoot and a half of water on the main road all day but it thankfully never got into our complex. I know a few [friends of friends] who have a couple of inches of water in the first story of their houses. If it continues to flood, our plan will be the same. Just stay inside.”
Rescue missions have begun to cover Houston.
In a recent press release, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said its priority continues to be protecting the lives and well-being of those in affected areas.
The release said the federal government is focusing on search and rescue and first responder operations to ensure people who need help, get assistance.
Those farther north of the damages stand in grief as Houston deals with one of their biggest natural disasters in years.
Jeff Pool, 26, said he felt overwhelmed by the incident. “I live in Plano Texas, just 30 minutes north of Dallas, but for any natural disaster, it’s a devastating event.”
Pool is familiar with extreme weather occurrences, due to the unpredictability of Oklahoma’s history.
He said he almost felt like he was prepared for the worst.
“[As I’ve seen] for hurricanes there’s only a matter of days and that’s still not enough time as the unexpected floods come with the storm” he said. “It’s crazy to see highways underwater, street lights submerged, trees underwater with just the tops poking above the water, reminds me of the days when seeing hurricane Katrina on the news.”
Jess Profits has seen the community take a turn, both negatively and positively.
“On one hand it’s amazing to see people helping each other and people from out of state spending money and time, risking themselves and their property to help others,” Profits said.
Profits said people are taking advantage of the situation.
“There’s people going door to door asking for help — then robbing people,” she said. “People shot at the Cajun Navy to try and steal their boats, other than looting stores because they know the cops are busy saving people [rather than] respond to ‘petty crimes.’”
Profits said the flood waters pose serious health issues.
“A lot of the people that have been stuck in the water will then be kept in shelters,” she said. “With a lot of people in an enclosed space, that will make it easy to pass illnesses.”
As the crisis continues to progress, President Donald Trump stepped forward to try and comfort Americans.
“Continuing rains and flash floods are being dealt with. Thousands rescued,” Trump tweeted on Sunday August 27th.
For Trump, this is his first natural disaster being in the White House. Civilians are reminded of the last Texas hurricane and Katrina’s hit on the Louisiana community.
“Electricity off — water off. Thousands were saved after the storm hit. Greg Abbott didn’t call for a mandatory evacuation because of the last bad hurricane,” Texan Barbara Davis said. “[When he did] the roads became clogged, people ran out of gas, and some even died.That’s why.”
With Texans holding their breath, local news stations did their best to prepare the state for the worst.
“We use a variety of weather forecasting models to predict the hurricane and track the intensity and the amount of rain that may result,” said Austin Harris, Meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Harris said Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that followed was predicted several days in advance. He said the agency uses radar, satellites and other technology to track storms.
Harris said the beginning of a hurricane begins as a tropical system that enters like a thunderstorm and is then triggered by little disturbances in the atmosphere.
“They can organize and intensify as well as the amount of rain, when they encounter warm sea temperatures and little resistance from winds higher up in the atmosphere,” he said.
Officials from the American Red Cross said the Red Cross is working to provide comfort and safety for Houston residents as the community recovers from the recent storm.
In a media statement, the Red Cross said it was “mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort.
“Enough supplies, officials said, to support more than 20,000 people.”
Residents who want to aid recovery efforts should call 1-800-REDCROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.