Hurricane Harvey lands in Texas


Many people volunteered to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. //Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Zachary West.

On Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas with a magnitude that hasn’t been seen since 2005.

The Category 4 hurricane brought 130 mph winds and heavy rainfall to the entire Corpus Christi area, including Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, destroying homes and flooding the area.

As of Aug. 30, the storm has been downgraded to a “tropical depression,” and is now predicted to continue moving east towards Louisiana and Mississippi.

Houston has been severely affected, with water levels rising to a peak of 50 inches due to the torrential rains.

As the flood levels begin to recede, families are making their way back to the once beautiful city of Houston to see the damage the hurricane has left.

The residents of the city return to snake-infested homes, waterlogged buildings, abandoned vehicles and copious amounts of muck. The reported death toll on Sept. 2 was 43, with an increase expected as the water levels continue to go down and more destruction is revealed.

The storm has destroyed more than homes. Houston is home to a multitude of chemical plants, refineries and fossil fuel operations. With the intense flooding and destruction of major chemical plants, toxic compounds have been released into the environment.

On Aug. 31, Arkema, a chemical manufacturing plant, burst into flames as a result of malfunctioning cooling equipment which was damaged by the flooding.

Texas is not the only place affected by the hurricane. Gas prices have spiked to an all-time high for the year, with the national average price of gas at $2.59, according to AAA as of Sept. 2.

Several students in the Guilford community have been also been directly affectedby Hurricane Harvey.

Mack Johnson, senior, has family who are residents of Houston.

“I’m just glad they’re safe, you know, safe from the damage,” said Johnson. “I’m curious to know if their home has been damaged, but as long as they themselves are safe that’s fine with me.”

Johnson’s family, like many others, were warned in time and able to evacuate before the storm hit with full force. Not everyone in Houston, however, received the order to evacuate in time, which left thousands of people stranded as the city flooded.

Kinsley Prendergast, junior, volunteers with the American Red Cross Alamance County Chapter and knows how Guilford students can get involved.

Her chapter traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help prepare the town for the flooding. Guilford County has its own American Red Cross chapter, and they are always in need of volunteers.

“There’s definitely lots of different ways to volunteer as well. (There’s) disaster relief, office work, blood drives, veteran services, etc.” said Prendergast.

Tanequa Armstrong, sophomore, does not have any family or friends where Hurricane

Harvey hit, but has still felt the impact of the storm.

“I’ve actually been through this situation,” said Armstrong. “I was in New York at the time when Sandy hit. I was able to see what people lost, and you know it was kind of devastating to see something like that happen to such a great city.”

“They don’t really have much,” said Armstrong. “Just providing them with support and providing them with the supplies they need to survive would be the best thing for them.”