By now, we’ve all heard of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and its affects on numerous southern states, specifically that of Texas. Record accumulation of rainfall is affecting south-east Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi while tropical storm force winds affecting primarily Texas and Louisiana has produced massive flooding throughout Texas.
Search and rescue by boat and air is underway, as there’s no end in sight of the floods and damage, as well as the residents seeking refuge from this catastrophic event. The National Weather Service forecast rainfall of 15 to 25 inches through Friday, with as much as 50 inches in a few areas stating that flooding is expected to continue for days. The NY TIMES reports a record 22 inches fell on the county in one day, while The Guardian states, “The sheer scale of Harvey – some parts of Texas may experience a year’s worth of rainfall in just over a week”.
Additionally, the NY TIMES reports that “At least five deaths and more than a dozen injuries have been reported in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey that tore across the Gulf Coast of Texas over the weekend.”
Dallas Convention Center to be used as Shelter
Dallas plans on turning its main convention center into a “mega-shelter” able to host 5,000 evacuees safely within its walls. City officials urge flooded residents to head to their roofs, not their attics. “Many neighbors are screaming for help,” wrote one man to Harris County sheriff. Trapped and flooded residents begging for help call 9-1-1 for assistance, overwhelming their phone lines, while others take to social media directly seeking assistance from their local authorities and any possible rescue teams. People of the area have been encouraged to continue trying 9-1-1 instead of sites like Twitter and Facebook as they feel it’ll be more productive. They also request that the calls made to the emergency service are that of assistance and not people asking for weather updates, as this seems to have become an issue due to the fact that approximately 316,000 homes have lost power.
The Guardian also takes note of the floods of the previous two years from the same area, reporting, “In 2015, eight people died in what the local media described as “historic flooding”. In 2016, what became known as “tax day floods” saw three waterways in the city exceed their “500-year flood levels”. Six people died.
FEMA anticipates many years worth of involvement after this tragedy closes, despite its relatively short duration. Increased efforts are being made nation-wide to help those in need during this devastating crisis where numbers of missing, injured, and fatalities continue to climb.