Hurricane Harvey was being anticipated as another unrelenting storm that would cause significant damage to where it would land. One of its victims was to be Houston, Texas, a city familiar with being affected by hurricanes and floods many times before. Houston residents were preparing themselves once again, while not knowing exactly what would come. Unfortunately, the category 4 hurricane ended up being just as damaging, if not worse, than what was expected.
At least 40 inches of rain were recorded in and around Houston since August 25, with the most being 51.88 in Cedar Bayou, Texas, breaking a record for the most amount of rainfall in the continental United States since 1978 (according to Business Insider). According to Daily Mail, more victims of the storm are being found as the flood waters recede, with the death count now at least 60 people. Countless families were forcefully moved as the flood waters rose and destroyed their homes, but only approximately 15% of homeowners in Houston have flood insurance to restore any property (Quartz).
People outside of the area could have been affected by this storm as well, depending on any personal connections they may have. My aunt on my dad’s side, Patricia Myers, is the Principal of Moore Elementary School of the Cypress Fairbanks I.S.D. near Houston. She and her home was thankfully safe from any damage, but her school and the city she lives in was significantly altered.
The pictures are ones she captured herself. Even though the pictures do not show this, she claims the water in the school was at one point “waist high”, which is not unheard of considering the amount of rainfall. As she communicated with us, she became understandably more overwhelmed as the flooding continued and her job suddenly halted.
From a personal standpoint, I lived in Texas for almost nine years. For the last few years until I moved here, I lived in San Antonio, only about 3.5 hours away from Houston. I have visited my aunt in the past few years, so I have seen the many downtown areas of the city. To have seen it completely overcome by floodwaters, and to see the numerous families affected by it, is difficult to watch. Upon that, my mother grew up in Houston as well, so it was not easy for her to see either. Even though we were not directly affected by the floods, both sides of my family had connections that affected them in some way.
People have begun to question why the city is so susceptible to flooding. According to ABC News, the amount of man-made structures cause large amounts of water to build up on the roads and in neighborhoods, which in turn prevent water from running into bayous and seeping into the soil. Whatever the reason may be, Hurricane Harvey in particular was a major storm that affected many people. For all that were impacted, we will hope for the best as the waters recede.
Timmons, Heather. “Why 85% of Houston Homeowners Have No Flood Insurance.”Quartz. Quartz, 29 Aug. 2017. Web. 05 Sept. 2017.
Stracqualursi, Veronica. “Why Houston Is Prone to Flooding.” ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2017.
Garfield, Leanna. “Hurricane Harvey Is the Worst Rainfall Disaster in US History – This Interactive Map Shows How Bad It Was.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 31 Aug. 2017. Web. 05 Sept. 2017.
Dailymail.com, Kaileen Gaul For. “Hurricane Harvey Death Toll Climbs to 60 with 30 People Killed in Harris County Alone.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 05 Sept. 2017. Web. 05 Sept. 2017.