In August of 2017, Texans got some, if very little, advance warning that the coast was about to be changed in a way they never expected by Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey was coming, and he was no longer simply a tropical depression. The Hurricane would make landfall as a category four storm, or in other words, a cataclysmic event in terms of damage. It was the first Hurricane to hit the southern coast of Texas since Hurricane Celia hit in 1970. By the end, Harvey would be tied with another deadly hurricane for the most damage caused. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, her name was Katrina.
Hurricane Harvey Hits the Coast
On August 17th, Hurricane Harvey hadn’t been classified as a hurricane. He was a small tropical depression hanging out in the Gulf of Mexico and was purported to make landfall in the Windward Islands. After the landfall, he weakened dramatically. Then onAugust 23, he took a turn, redeveloping into a tropical depression, and by the next day, he had strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. He only continued to gain speed as he hurled himself toward Texas, and by the time he reached the shore, Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane with winds measuring 130 miles per hour.
Hurricane Harvey Makes Landfall
There were three major landfalls during Hurricane Harvey’s wrath; San Jose Island, Rockport, and Port Arthur, all three on the southern shore of Texas. By the third landfall, the damage was done. Harvey had already breached two flood reservoirs and caused major flooding. While the winds died down rather quickly, the amount of rain was catastrophic. In the end, there were almost twenty trillion gallons of rain dumped on Southern Texas during the storm. All in all, he managed to cause over $120 billion in damages.
Where Are They Now?
Nearly eight months after the storm, is Texas completely rebuilt? Not even close. Many of the people who lost their homes are still displaced, although local religious leaders are assisting as much as they can and are hopeful that handfuls of their parishioners will be able to move back into their homes in April.
Many volunteer outlets are committed to a two-year goal for rebuilding what Texas has lost, even with the very generous donations that have been made on behalf of healing Texas. In the aftermath of a storm of this caliber, recovery is a painstaking process.
Repairs After Hurrican Harvey Begins
Many of these homeowners have begun repairing their homes on their own, including performing their own mold remediation process. The danger in this is that most of the people are not qualified for this type of action, and are, therefore, putting themselves in more danger. Another concern regarding the cleanup is the obvious looming threat of this year’s storm season. With so many houses still in disrepair, there is a higher chance of another storm being devastating.
Business and Economic Impact of the Storm
While Houston’s businesses seem to be back on the map and thriving, there are still areas that are packed with volunteer organizations hoping the assist with the cleanup. City leaders are staying strong for their people and repeatedly have let the people know that they’re valued and are still part of the cities that were most affected. Right now, the growing concern surrounds what Texas will receive in the way of federal funding.
The people of Texas and those impacted by Hurricane Harvey are committed to rebuilding and moving forward. They will still gladly accept donations and volunteer efforts if you’re in the giving mood and any and all prayers are still happily accepted as well.