One Year Post-Hurricane Harvey: Walter P Moore Reflects
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4. Although its effects were immediately felt, the record-breaking devastation came after the storm circled back into the Gulf, regained strength, and then stalled over the Houston area.
No community could have been prepared to take on 50 inches of rain in four days. As trillions of gallons of water fell over Texas, residents readied themselves as best they could and watched the waters rise.
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Nearly 780,000 Texans were evacuated from their homes during Hurricane Harvey. Although a staggering statistic, what was equally impressive was the volume of first responders and volunteers who came from all over the U.S. to bring aid.
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Following the storm came the assessment of damage. Ranked as the nation's third-largest economic disaster and second costliest hurricane, Harvey caused billions in estimated damages across the state. From property losses to economic output, the storm redrew floodplain lines and caused officials to evaluate the need for change.
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There is no denying that many in the Houston area continue to feel the effects of Hurricane Harvey. However, it is important that take advantage of the opportunity to learn from each of these storms. To continue to educate property owners about potential flood risks, create new innovations that allow access to floodplain maps, and champion for flood resiliency.
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