The Heroes of Hurricane Harvey

Rockport, TX.  Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane (classified as Category 3 or stronger) to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in Rockport, Texas with winds of 130 MPH.  My Aunt Sam lives in this wonderful small town on the Gulf Coast.  While her house has suffered damage, thankfully she is safe.

Harvey, much like life itself, was erratic in its development and it’s path remains unclear.  At first the storm was not well-defined and there was a chance it would not become a Tropical Storm.  Once the eye formation started, it quickly grew in size and strength.  Much like our words and actions, the impact of the storm extends far beyond the area where it makes landfall.  The slow speed and size of the outer bands of this storm will cause life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and tornadoes in many Texas counties for several days.

Houston, TX. Courtesy Houston TranStar

This morning KTRK reported that an estimated 370 billion gallons of rain fell here in Harris County in the last 24 hours. Sadly so, an additional 15-20″ of rain is expected in the next few days. The size and mass of destruction in the entire Texas coastal area is almost unfathomable.  I believe that when the storm finally ends, it will be one of the most expensive natural disasters in our nation’s history.

As I sit here in the safety of my home in a pouring rain, I am thankful and overwhelmed by a sense of pride to be a Texan and an American.  While much of the focus of news coverage in the United States in the past year has been focused on the unnecessary social destruction caused by racism, bigotry and political unrest.  I hope that the world will see the outpouring of kindness, compassion and strength of the residents of our great State of Texas.

Photo by Kevin Reece

People are helping people without regard to gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, political affiliation, religious beliefs or economic standing. Volunteers are bringing in boats, canoes, kayaks, and large trucks to rescue flood victims. Neighbors are helping neighbors board up and remove debris from the damage by high wind and rains.  Today in my own subdivision, 30+ residents came together to build a barrier to stop the high water coming in off the main street.  It was awesome to see everyone working together!

Photo by Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle, AP

I want to give heartfelt thanks to the heroes of Hurricane Harvey.  Thank you to all of the resident volunteers, law enforcement, armed forces, civic workers, and medical staff working to help those in need.  Thank you to the workers  in the many make-shift shelters.  I want to also give credit and thanks to the unsung heroes in this mess, the men and women in the news media working hard to give us excellent coverage.  It is very difficult to be live on the air for many hours straight with limited resources.   Thank you to all of the heroes of Hurricane Harvey.  I pray for safety and abundant blessings to your and your families!

The news coverage will die down in the coming days.  The spirit of humanity, compassion and willingness to help others will continue.  As our citizens rebuild their homes and businesses in the coming months, please provide help in any way you can – your prayers, time, talents and money are needed!!   It is important to remember that each of these “statistics” is a person – someone’s family member, friend, co-worker, classmate, and neighbor.

Please make a monetary contribution to the American Red Cross to help victims of this devastating storm.  Here is a link to donate:  https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey?campname=Harvey&campmedium=aspot

I pray that the victims of Hurricane Harvey recover quickly and are abundantly blessed beyond what you had before Mother Nature unleashed this violent storm.   May God Bless Texas.

…. And Life Goes on.