The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Phoebe Reiter, Staff Writer

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In Southern California, severe storms are rather rare. When they do occur, we experience blackouts and sometimes we lose service momentarily. Yet nothing is truly damaged and life resumes within the next few hours. Hurricanes that the East experience, however, are nothing compared to what we call severe storms. Their hurricanes are more of an equivalent of our earthquakes, such as the devastation that hit San Francisco in 1989.

Starting from August 25th, people in Texas were ordered to leave their houses and seek safety as the oncoming hurricane Harvey, loomed closer. Harvey deposited approximately 43.8 inches and brought winds of up to 130 mph, according to Business Insider.

Residents sought shelters provided by the American Red Cross, and it is estimated that thirty thousand people remain there. Some neighborhoods are still flooded with water as nearby reservoirs, the Addicks and the Barker, are at their full capacity so they cannot return to whatever remains of their homes. With time, the water levels will gradually lower.

According to Holmes, a National Flood Hazard coordinator, “The water is going to take a while to recede because of the low gradient and it’s going to be carrying a lot of things with it.” This includes pollutants that are likely to further the damage to the ocean’s ecosystem. Due to such chemicals in the water, it is advised that people take the necessary precautions when it comes to touching the water and salvaging personal items.

The hurricane has caused extreme cases of flooding and damage to many cities. There have been worries regarding the budget to rebuild flood damages, as the costs might equate to the costs of Hurricane Katrina, amounting to about $180 million dollars. Rebuilding and overall recovery is expected to take a few years.

One resident from Bayside, Texas, mentions “I lost my first [house] in a hurricane and I’ve lost my last one in a hurricane.”  All that the man could save was one rocking chair. He has no insurance, like many others, and will have to deal with his situation as best as he can.

Damages included the loss of family photos, nearly all pieces of furniture, ruined walls, waterlogged carpet, and more. The currents of water were so strong that it moved and toppled most furniture. Very little is salvageable, leaving families in a large debt.

There have been a reported total of sixty casualties, although more bodies are still being found. Some rescuers have lost their lives as they valiantly tried to save others, including dogs that some people had to leave behind.

The recovery will be slow, but eventually, the people of Texas will return to what used to be, many with added hardships.

Amidst Harvey’s wake, comes Hurricane Irma, an equally disastrous storm.

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey