Hurricane Harvey inundated the Huston and Beaumont areas in August 2017 after the storm dumped feet of rain over the course of several days.
Harvey made its initial landfall Aug. 26 near Rockport, Texas, as a Category 4 storm. It circled back out to the Gulf Coast and made a second landfall Aug. 27 near Copano Bay and moved slowly toward the Houston area. Harvey then moved back to the Gulf of Mexico and again made landfall on Aug. 30 just west of Cameron, Louisiana.
Harvey was the strongest hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years. It caused an estimated $180 billion in damage and will require years to make a full recovery along the Gulf Coast.
A significant portion of the damage came from flooding in the Houston and Beaumont areas. As a result of the storm, Cedar Bayou in Houston set a North American record with 51.88 inches.
The storm killed 77 people. Harvey also displaced more than 1 million people in the immediate aftermath, and it damaged an estimated 200,000 homes across a 300-mile stretch of the Gulf Coast.
FEMA issued major disaster declarations for Texas and Louisiana on Aug. 25 and Aug. 27, respectively. The declarations covered 41 Texas counties and 12 Louisiana parishes.
On Feb. 9, Congress passed an $89 billion relief bill for Hurricane Harvey and hurricanes in Florida and the Caribbean.
Victims of Hurricane Harvey have received the following aid:
- $2.5 billion from FEMA in public assistance and individual grants
- $335.9 million in private donations from 605 pledges
- Housing – There is significant need for repair, rebuild, and more affordable housing (particularly for renters and low-income families).
- Economic/Community Development – Those communities (outside Houston and Harris County, especially) that were most affected have seen a dramatic decrease in businesses, jobs, and population (likely the result of lost employment and limited housing).
- Health/Behavioral Health – there are signs with children in the schools of PTSD and with additional domestic issues with families. Additionally, many of those living at or below poverty levels have put off addressing chronic health issues because of financial strains.
- Legal Assistance – Those who need help navigating the complicated assistance process and/or those with fragile document status need significant legal resources to support their recovery.
- Environmental Impact – Many of these communities are hubs for the petrochemical industry. The impact of the storm on this industry and the environment surrounding them is just now surfacing. A “second-storm” of air pollution has recently been reported by the state.
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- Read FEMA’s Hurricane Incident Journal on the event.
- See FEMA’s Hurricane Harvey Resource Page.
- Department of Energy updates can be seen here.
- Use the Disaster Playbook to guide recovery and funding.