When Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas last Friday, few could predict just how devastating the record amounts of rain, unrelenting winds, and sheer strength of this storm would turn out to be once all was said and done. The most immediate impacts are fairly obvious, with severe flooding throughout the city of Houston and surrounding areas, and it is imperative that you not remain in any area deemed unsafe by authorities while search, rescue, and recovery operations are underway. With entire streets underwater and more than 20 deaths with a direct connection to the storm, it is time to consider not only how this storm will continue to impact Texan lives in the coming weeks but also how the community and local companies may come together to help.
With a city as heavily populated as Houston, it may feel nearly impossible to ensure all residents are found and brought to safety, but local companies such as AFC Houston and people like J.J. Watt from the Houston Texans have stepped up and, working alongside other transportation brokers, have deployed over 50 coaches in an attempt to evacuate those who may not be able to do it using their own power. Such coaches were deployed over the entire City of Houston, METRO, and other municipalities as the growing storm threatened the shore, and this aid is not likely to let up until the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey can be brought under control.
Some areas received 48 inches of rain during the hurricane Harvey, and this is a major factor in the flooding of streets, businesses, and homes throughout the city. Of the current population, more than 30,000 people will be temporarily without a home due to this flooding, and many more are left without power although this is quickly being corrected. During the worst of the storm on Friday night, people totaling in the tens of thousands were forced to seek the protection of shelter, some of whom with nowhere else to go but a private furniture shop opened to whomever would fit.
Although there are still many without a permanent home while repairs and other measures are put into place, there remain those who offer aid throughout day and night. People are opening their doors to those who lost their homes and transportation companies and pedestrians alike are offering their vehicles in an attempt to bring some sort of order to the chaos. Some fear Houston will suffer some of the same fate as those caught in Hurricane Katrina’s rampage, but the difference here is that Houston is a much larger and more spread out city with many areas which did not receive the same amount of damage as others.
With our sister affiliate, ECHO Transportation, we have completed 8 and counting storm evacuation missions all around from Vidor, Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana. We are grateful to be partnered with a company who is more than willing to lend a helping hand to the city of Houston and beyond.
Billions in damage is already done with more to be discovered over time as flood waters continue to recede and reveal greater damage underneath the water’s surface. Now is the time for communities to continue working together, to put aside any differences and to simply focus on saving as many lives as is possible now that the worst is passed and the city may begin rebuilding.