Harvey Disaster Continues

Posted by on Sunday, September 3, 2017

Some refineries in Texas are beginning to restart after being hit from what was once Hurricane Harvey.

Based on current damage estimates made by multiple agencies, Hurricane Harvey is likely to be at least the second-most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United States Equestrian Federation, Humane Society of the United States, Catholic Charities USA, AmeriCares, Operation BBQ relief, many celebrities, and many other charitable organizations provided help to the victims of the storm.

The floodwaters contain a number of hazards to the environment and human health. The Houston Health Department stated that "millions of contaminants" were present in floodwaters.

These include E. coli and coliform bacteria; measurements of colony-forming units showed the concentrations was so high that there were risks of contracting flesh-eating disease from the water.

Houston officials stated that the Houston drinking water and sewer systems were intact; however, "hundreds of thousands of people across the 38 Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey use private wells, according to an estimate by Louisiana State University researchers, and those people must fend for themselves."

Additionally, Harris County, which includes Houston, contains a large number of Superfund-designed brownfield sites that contain a wide variety of toxins and carcinogens.

Two flooded Superfund sites in Corpus Christi flooded.

The Houston Independent School District announced that all students on any of the district's campuses would be eligible for free lunch throughout the 2017–18 school year. The Federal Department of Education eased financial aid rules and procedures for those affected by Harvey, giving schools the ability to waive paperwork requirements; loan borrowers were given more flexibility in managing their loan payments.

Approximately 32,000 people were displaced in shelters across the state by August 31. The George R. Brown Convention Center, the state's largest shelter, reached capacity with 8,000 evacuees. The NRG Center opened as a large public shelter accordingly. More than 210,000 people registered with FEMA for disaster assistance.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed the state's entire National Guard for search and rescue, recovery, and clean up operations due to the devastating damage caused by the storm and resulting floods.

President Trump made a formal request for $5.95 billion in federal funding on August 31 for affected areas, the vast majority of which would go to FEMA.



The Team

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