More than 20 trillion gallons of rain poured down on Texas and Louisiana since Harvey landed on August, 25. It is estimated $185,149 worth of homes will be damaged or destroyed, according to last Friday’s data released from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
As of press time, at least 60 people died from the Harvey storm and 42,399 people are in shelters.
As the state begins recovery and cleanup challenges, now a new issue arises, leaving Texas to face the environmental threat of toxic waste. At least 13 toxic waste sites flooded. The 13 sites have industrial waste from petrochemical companies, acid compounds, solvents, and pesticides.
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has assessed 41 superfund sites. These sites are contaminated by hazardous waste and could pose a risk to the public’s health and or the environment. EPA workers have been unable to access the sites however, the workers plan to do so after the waters recede.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, stated that most of the businesses were set to reopen Tuesday, September 5.
“Most of Houston is operational and more than 95 percent of the city is dry, said Turner on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Turner goes on to say that any planned events such as conferences, conventions, and concerts will continue.
“We are still ready to welcome you,” he said. “We are getting back on our feet, and I’m expecting employees — employers to open, employees to go to work. And all city employees, you are due back at work on Tuesday.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott believes the recovery from Harvey is going to require even more money than the package Congress allocated for Hurricane Katrina relief. Abbott goes on to say the total population and geographic range affected by Harvey could exceed both Hurricane Katrina and Sandy.
A Closer Look at Harvey Damage by the Numbers
As of press time:
- an estimated 185,149 homes were expected to be damaged or destroyed by the storm, the final numbers are still pending
- 10,000 people were rescued by federal forces
- 200,000 people are without power
- 120,000 residents in Beaumont, Texas are without water
- 24,000 National Guard troops were deployed to assist in Harvey relief efforts
- over 1,960,000 meals and liters of water were distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Both during and after the destruction and devastation of Harvey, national volunteer efforts were put in place without official guidance. Celebrities, politicians, and people from around the world came together to make financial, food, water, and material donations. Some went as far as helping Texan families rebuild their homes.
If you are interested in making a donation to help the survivors of Hurricane Harvey, please contact your local church, school, or the American Red Cross. Please note some donation scams are circulating online and at donation sites.