On August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast—it only took 56 hours for Harvey to begin as a tropical depression and strengthen into a category four hurricane, making it the most catastrophic hurricane the state of Texas has ever seen.
“This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told The Washington Post. “The recovery to this event is going to last many years to be able to help Texas and the people impacted by this event achieve a new normal.”
After devastating the areas of Rockport and Fulton, Harvey moved north towards Houston. Harvey produced more than 50 inches of rain on the city with wind gusts up to 132 mph.
More than 200,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. The storm will cost the state of Texas billions of dollars in order to rebuild.
Friends and family of those affected by the storm are feeling the burden as well.
Grace Munford, a senior Spanish major at Messiah, is a native of Houston: “Being away from Houston while I watched it literally go under water has been the toughest thing to go through while in college,” says Munford. “Seeing my friends’ homes be destroyed while I just sat and watched made me feel helpless. I cannot do anything for my city right now except pray. My house is fine, my parents are fine, and it leaves me with kind of this guilty feeling. I want to be back to take care of my city. This place I’ve called home is slowly rebuilding, but it will take years. I can’t wait it be home for Christmas to join my city in rebuilding. Houston is the strongest city in the United States. We will only come through this hurricane stronger.”
Two weeks after the hurricane, more than $320 million has been donated to help those impacted by the hurricane.
One main contributor has been Houston Texans player J.J. Watt. Watt began the Houston Flood Relief Fund on August 27 with a goal of raising $200,000. Currently, the professional football player has raised more than $30 million for the people of Houston.
Additionally, all five living former presidents, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter promoted their fund relief organization One America Appeal this past week.
How can you help? Many stores will allow you to round up your purchases or donate another amount to Hurricane Harvey Relief Funds. You can also donate to the organizations above or to the following organizations:
Hurricane Harvey is not the only storm to trouble America—Hurricane Irma recently made landfall on Florida and Hurricane Jose is not far behind. As more news on these storms becomes available, stay tuned to the Pulse for more updates.