Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday night in Corpus Christi as a Category 4 Hurricane. Category 4 Hurricanes have sustained winds of 130-156 mph.
"FEMA director says Harvey is probably the worst disaster in Texas history"
- Washington Post
"Hurricane Harvey is set to be one of the worst natural disasters in US history"
- IFL Science
I've lived through a few decent hurricanes, and some floods (including 2 floods in the last 2 years) but this is about a thousand times worse than anything I've ever seen. It honestly reminds me of some of the tsunami videos I used to show my geography students back when I was teaching. It's absolutely insane just how much water there is in our area right now. Several of our friends have had to evacuate. My brother-in-law and his family had to move back in my in-laws (his parents) because he had over 3 feet of water in his home. Another friend of ours has water all the way up and over part of the roof of his one-story home.
The storm has passed, but this devastation is far from over. With all the rainfall, many of our lakes and bayous are having to release some of their excess into the rivers and that's causing even more flooding. There's just too much water in the area that no matter what they do, the flooding will get worse before it gets better. Today, some of the rivers have finally crested and started going back down, but we are still months away from getting things "back to normal" and some areas will never be the same.
Many people have lost everything during this terrible storm. Their homes. Their belongings. Their vehicles. Thankfully, most people have survived. The Guardian reports Harvey's death toll to be 21, although the NY Times says it's at 30. While any loss of life is terrible, compare these numbers to that of Hurricane Ike at 155, or Hurricane Rita at 120, and especially Hurricane Katrina at 1,833. We have learned from previous storms that sometimes it's best to just "shelter in place" rather than evacuate and I truly believe that is why Harvey's death toll stayed so low. People weren't out in the open, on the roads trying to escape. They were at home, protected from the winds and tornadoes that accompanied this beastly hurricane.
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