Often, hurricane forecasts over state the danger of an approaching storm. It’s easy to be cynical, since meteorology is not an exact science. In the case of Harvey, the forecast was pretty close to spot on. Unfortunately.
In the case of Harvey neither wind nor storm surge were the major problems. Rain, over four feet of it, was the problem. Much of the rain came after Harvey was no longer a hurricane, but was “only” a Tropical Storm.
The flooding is something we have rarely, if ever, seen in the United States. At least not on such a large scale.
The maps at the link show how much area Harvey would cover if it hit in other areas of the U.S. A Texas sized storm indeed.
Texans being the fiercely independent, yet willing to help others in times of need, people that they are, Houston will recover. It won’t be a fast recovery, but it will be a recovery.
Government entities at all levels were prepared ahead of time and had assets well positioned to help. Unlike Katrina 12 years ago, the state and local governments didn’t ignore the threat, didn’t turn away help from outside the state, and most importantly didn’t blame the President when help didn’t come. In the latter case, there was no blame, unless you count the media who desperate to find something to complain about obsessed over the First Lady’s shoes. As if that’s a major issue when a couple of people have died (so far), thousands have lost everything they own and their home as well.
As always, the military and public safety personnel have done everything possible, and likely more than thought possible, to help. Much as they did 12 years ago, but received scant credit for that. Not that they do it for the credit or publicity, but the public should know what their tax dollars are paying for.
The media, is as always, the media. Two media outlets deserve extra opprobrium for their treatment of the victims. Charlie Hebdo, the magazine that had much of it’s staff murdered by Islamofascists a few years ago, decided that it would be a pithy political statement to portray the dead of Houston as Nazis. Very funny, har, har. Politico, a US based left leaning “news” website had a cartoon lampooning the victims as white supremacists. Because we know that no Black, Asian, Hispanic, or any other group live in Texas. It’s fat white guys, from Texarkana to El Paso, yes sir.
Everyone seems to be donating money to relief efforts. Which doesn’t mean that more won’t be needed. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund has been set up by the Mayor of Houston and a county judge. It seems like a worthy enterprise. Houston Texans play J.J. Watt has set up a Flood Relief Fund that has raised more than $14 Million so far. The list goes on and on of individuals, including the President, who have donated their own money. If you care to donate, my suggestion is to donate to a local, Harvey specific charity. I’m not a fan of the American Red Cross at all, so I don’t advocate for donating anything to them. They will tell you, in the small print, that there is no guarantee that any of the money that you give to them will go to any specific disaster. Other big charities may well be the same.
As if we needed more proof that there is no greater country on the planet than America, there is this. Pet rescue. In most other countries, there wouldn’t be enough in the way of resources to save a lot of people, let alone pets. In the United States, we have people who are setting up evacuation shelters for pets, people risking their lives to find and rescue pets, people donating food and other goods to pets. Rescued animals are not only being sheltered in other parts of Texas, some are going to other states as far away as Iowa and Washington. Pets. Pets. Again, no other country would, or could, do that sort of thing in the face of this kind of disaster. Austin Pets Alive! is accepting donations. I’m sure there are others as well, but as with donations to help people, check carefully to be sure that the charity is legitimate.
Speaking of other countries, where are they? That sound you hear is crickets.
Looters. Might be the worst state to try this in. Texas has very broad self defense protections. A few minutes ago, I heard a police chief from Long Island, New York say on Fox News that it’s only property and not worth risking your life over. He also said that the best response was to call 9-1-1. I’m sure that people in Texas (if they have electricity and a working TV) are laughing at that. Fox also had a young black woman from the area who said that she doesn’t usually carry her gun with her, but due to danger from looters and other criminals, she is now. That’s a Texan, not a New York, response to criminals. A sheriff just warned looters that they should think carefully before they go out to loot buildings. The risk is that they might end up in a body bag. Again, not something you’d hear a police official in New York say.
Texas will recover from this disaster. It won’t be quick, and it certainly won’t be cheap, but it will happen. Because that’s what America does.