Hurricane Harvey Hits Close to Home

Satellite image of Hurricane Harvey as it makes landfall in Texas.
Courtesy: ABC News

Satellite image of Hurricane Harvey as it makes landfall in Texas. Courtesy: ABC News

Satellite image of Hurricane Harvey as it makes landfall in Texas. Courtesy: ABC News

Alejandra Nogueira, Section Editor

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On Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey struck U.S. soil as the largest hurricane in over decade. The Category 4 hurricane entered through Rockport, Texas, and was the worst storm the Texan coast had encountered since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Charles A. Wax, Rockport’s mayor, urged residents to evacuate the city during a press conference, on Aug. 25., the morning just before the hurricane entered the Texan coast.

The storm struck just a day after the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. Although TERRA was not around to serve as a hurricane shelter for this devastating storm, its impact still remains in the Miami community. The eye struck Florida city on Aug. 24. 1992, killing  ten people in Miami-Dade County. The storm left sections of the county without power for over a week, many trees uprooted, and houses demolished.

“Harvey brought up a lot memories from Hurricane Andrew for my parents, they still remembered the horrible flooding and all the time without power,” senior Paul Stuckey stated.

However, Hurricane Harvey set a record of rainfall on the continental U.S. peaking at 51 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Severe flooding plagued several major cities in Texas, such as Houston, Beaumont, Galveston, and Corpus Christi. A vast majority of homes and buildings, not built to sustain 140 mile per hour winds, were severely damaged by the storm. Some individuals were left stranded when their buildings collapsed and in urgent need of emergency services. Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $80 billion dollars in damage, according to The Washington Post. Local officials confirmed on Sept. 1 that 46 deaths had been caused due to the storm.

An estimated 42,000 individuals are residing in shelters around the state, and some were forced to relocate to shelters in Louisiana. Most rivers, canals, and bayous over flooded several feet; drainage will be one of the costliest and time-consuming parts of recovery. Major roadways were obstructed and swamped, making it particularly hard for emergency services to reach individuals in need.

Harvey’s effects extend beyond damage to the infrastructure, though. Texas is the location of a third of the U.S.’s oil refineries, many of which were decimated by the storm. The destruction has caused gas prices to rise, spreading economic trouble from Hurricane Harvey across the nation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Hurricane Harvey hit a major supply line for gasoline in Florida and along the eastern seaboard… a minimum [rise] of 10-30 cents would not be a surprise,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. This means trouble for the Miami community, who is currently preparing for Hurricane Irma after Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.

“The rise of gas prices due to Harvey has definitely affected me. My local gas station has risen their prices by 50 cents, which does affect me in the long run when filling my tank. I’m being smarter about my gas usage and not accelerating every five seconds,” junior Kevin Benitez said.

Although Texas received the worst end of Hurricane Harvey, Alabama and Mississippi have experienced tornadoes caused by the storm. The hurricane caused more flooding along the Gulf Coast, including in Louisiana, and downpour in the northeastern U.S.

Many celebrities and organizations have reached out to help the residents affected by the storm. The American Red Cross, the Greater Houston Community Foundation, and GlobalGiving are just some of the many organizations working together to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

According to CBS Miami, The Red Cross in South Florida is sending three of its trucks to help out those residents who have been displaced by the storm, dozens of boats will be helping tens of thousands of people displaced because of Hurricane Harvey. The truck provide necessities such as meals and hygiene kits to victims.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation announced a new foundation has been set up to help locals. “The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity,” stated the website. Nearly $30 million has been raised thus far through the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Even the local Miami community has come together to help those still reeling during the aftermath. The Miami Dolphins organized a relief drive from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15, all donations are to be directly sent to shelters in Houston. Dozens of other local agencies are sending all the help they can to aid the thousands of people struggling in Texas.

With local and national communities uniting to aid those in Texas, it is expected that cities and citizens affected will be able to recover and rebuild soon.

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Hurricane Harvey Hits Close to Home