Harvey hits Houston hard

Art by Anna Gorman


Art by Anna Gorman

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Imagine coming back to your house after a week with no home or future, finding everything destroyed by water.

As relief efforts strive to aid in the cleanup process in Houston after the disastrous Category 4 Hurricane Harvey, which hit from August 25 to August 29, about 2.2 million people are left stranded, 70 have been left dead, and an overall total of 50 inches of rainfall have overwhelmed Houston with wind speeds having reached up to 132 mph.

While Houston and all of Texas work to rebuild after the storm, many residents find water remaining in their houses, with three feet of water still in some areas.

“The people down there come back to find they have absolutely nothing,” said social studies teacher Mr. Cory Jensen.  “Electrical work, upholstery, family heirloom—anything and everything valuable to a family is gone.”

The American Red Cross with Catholic Relief Services and other foundations have stepped in as the storm caused close to $75 billion in damage.

“The destruction is a devastation to the economy of the U.S. and to the victims of it,” said freshman Tyler Haisman.

The United States Government reformed the relief effort funds to an 18 month extension on Wednesday, September 6, putting $15.25 billion towards the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Besides the substantial damage to the geography of Houston and southeastern Texas, there are also huge amounts of ecological damage expected to last at least twelve years, disrupting ecosystems and natural life.  In total, homeowners are expected to face $30 billion in losses from flooding as insurance claims surge. Furthermore, a breakdown in water sanitation increases risk of communicable and respiratory diseases.

Though many institutions remain closed—some schools will not reopen until mid-October—with no sure answer, they can count on love and support from millions of people across the nation. For instance, the Saint Viator community alone raised $5200 for Catholic Charities Houston, joining the millions of dollars pouring into Texas to help rebuild toward the future.

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