When the predictions of Hurricane Harvey reached the news, most didn’t believe it could be the horrible disaster it would eventually proved itself as. Anticipated to be a Category 3 hurricane and with no more rainfall than 35 inches in the worst conditions, the real results were far off. Harvey turned out to be a Category 4 hurricane; it swept across the Gulf of Mexico and specifically over Texas and Louisiana for a six-day period, consuming every home and building in its tracks. The total rainfall broke the United States record from a singular storm – 51 inches of destructive rains. It was estimated that by September 3rd, 27 trillion gallons of water fell over these regions. Predictions say that the recovery from this storm can possibly take years.
As mentioned before, Hurricane Harvey destroyed many residences, buildings and schools, leaving over 30,000 people homeless; these victims will need temporary shelter from the storm in their respective areas. This number of civilians displaced is about 150% the population of King of Prussia.
Aside from the homeless, tens of thousands have been injured, along with a death toll of at least 70 known victims. This death toll is still climbing, even in the aftermath. Over 72,000 documented people have been rescued as of September 1st, most by volunteers. The volunteers can be found making meals, providing shelters, and rebuilding for the victims. The volunteers are very much appreciated, since the official emergency workers have their hands full. The average amount of 9-1-1 calls a day in Houston is 8,000 to 9,000, but during only the first 15 hours of Hurricane Harvey, there were over 56,000 calls for emergency.
Due to all the devastation from the hurricane, many celebrities and even everyday people are trying their best to support the victims affected by Harvey. Known celebrities such as Beyoncé and George Clooney have donated money towards the disaster. Another celebrity that has made it his goal to raise money for hurricane relief is Kevin Hart, a born and raised Philadelphian actor and comedian. Along with 4,166 patrons, they donated $898,550 in a single day by Hart’s lead. He replied to the flood of donations on Instagram saying, “When we as people come together we can do amazing things. Love & positivity will always win.” As of August 31st, Hart helped raise over $1.2 million for the cause.
On the political side, the storm has caused immense damage, and the government has been trying to work out the relief funds. On September 8th, The House of Representatives gave a congressional approval of a $15 billion Hurricane Harvey relief bill. President Trump signed the bill later that day. Along with signing the bill, President Trump also donated $1 million of his own money towards the aid. On Monday, September 4th, the president came out and noted that, “We are one American family. We hurt together, we struggle together and believe me, we endure together.”
As the nation is just beginning to recover from one hurricane, the government has still not discussed any disaster relief funds for Hurricane Irma.