Tag Archives: Hurricane Harvey

Waiting for FEMA in Florida and Texas also…

While media attention has been focused on the wanting federal disaster agencies response to Puerto Rico?

The victims from Hurricane Harvey have their own problems….

That IS the story in the two mainland states even as Donald Trump keeps bragging about the ‘good job’ the feds have done there…

Outside Rachel Roberts’s house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads “Waiting on FEMA.”

It is a Halloween reminder that, for many, getting help to recover from Hurricane Harvey remains a long, uncertain journey.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Ms. Roberts, 44, who put together the display after waiting three weeks for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send someone to look at her flood-damaged home in southwest Houston. “I think it’s beautiful how much we’ve all come together, and that’s wonderful, but I think there’s a lot of mess-ups, too.”

Outside the White House this month, President Trump boasted about the federal relief efforts. “In Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus,” he said. FEMA officials say that they are successfully dealing with enormous challenges posed by an onslaught of closely spaced disasters, unlike anything the agency has seen in years. But on the ground, flooded residents and local officials have a far more critical view.

According to interviews with dozens of storm victims, one of the busiest hurricane seasons in years has overwhelmed federal disaster officials. As a result, the government’s response in the two biggest affected states — Texas and Florida — has been scattershot: effective in dealing with immediate needs, but unreliable and at times inadequate in handling the aftermath, as thousands of people face unusually long delays in getting basic disaster assistance….

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image….Rachel Roberts with her sons, Troy and Harrison, at their home in Houston. After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, long delays for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have frustrated residents. CreditScott Dalton for The New York Times

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Texas has been in forefront on NOT wanting Federal Help/Rules…Up until Now….

Texas is the state that cut workers comp coverage….

Texas is the state that threateened to succeed…..

Texas was the state trhat was afraid the Fed’s where gonna invade….

Texas  Congress people mostly  voted against money for the last few storm recovery bills…

Texas is the state that Hurricane Harvey just left in a mess….

All the sudden Texas Republicans are doing a 180 in direction and have their hands out for bail out money from Washington, eh?

Few places need the federal government right now more than Texas does, as it begins to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Yet there are few states where the federal government is viewed with more resentment, suspicion and scorn.

For Republicans, who dominate Texas government, anti-Washington sentiment is more than just a red-meat rhetorical flourish — it is a guiding principle.

Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican former state attorney general, once described a typical day in his old job as, “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.” His predecessor as governor, Rick Perry, wrote a book titled “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington.”

The sentiment is not limited to politicians. In June, the legislature of Texas Boys State — the mock-government exercise for high schoolers, run by the American Legion — voted overwhelmingly to secede from the union.

Now, though, it is Texas Republicans who will be crucial in securing, and helping to coordinate, what is likely to be one of the most ambitious and costly federal disaster-relief packages in American history, one that will almost certainly run to tens of billions of dollars.

There are few doubts that a Republican-dominated Congress will end up delivering aid to a battered state and key base of Republican power. But along with an outpouring of support, the process is raising eyebrows and drawing charges of hypocrisy.

What this means for Texas politics is difficult to say, at a time when rescue crews and volunteers are still plucking flood victims from their homes. But the new reality is already making itself felt.

Most notably, Senator Ted Cruz, one of Washington’s most ardent proponents of fiscal restraint, has suddenly taken on a new role, promising to lead the effort to secure a generous federal aid package….

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image….nj.com

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A Coast Guard ‘Helo’ driver tells his story….

MELISSA JELTSEN/HUFFPOST
Coast Guard pilot Jason Brownlee, at right, is seen with commander John Egan, left, and flight mechanic Eric Cybulski, center.

ELLINGTON FIELD JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas ― At 3 a.m. on Sunday, Jason Brownlee, a pilot with the U.S. Coast Guard, woke with a start. His phone was ringing.

While he was asleep, Hurricane Harvey had slammed into the greater Houston area, bringing extreme winds and heavy rainfall. His bosses wanted him back at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston ― ASAP.

There was one problem, though. Brownlee, 34, was already flooded in.

“Every road that I could take to get in was impassible,” he said. So his team pulled the maneuver they knew best: They scrambled a rescue aircraft and picked him up in an elementary school parking lot near his house.

“I came in, put my uniform on, grabbed my gear, a crew, a helicopter,” and took off, he said, flying the first of what would be many rescue missions in the days to come.

MELISSA JELTSEN/HUFFPOST
Flying over Port Arthur and Beaumont revealed widespread flooding and devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

The full extent of Harvey’s devastation is still unknown. More than 32,000 residents have sought refuge in shelters after being displaced from their homes, and at least 38 people have died. But many more were saved ― including by pilots like Brownlee. So far, more than 72,000 people have been rescued. According to a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson, at least 744 aerial rescues in the greater Houston area have taken place since the storm began.

On Friday, one week after Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, Brownlee’s unit took HuffPost reporters on a reconnaissance mission to survey flooding around Port Arthur and Beaumont, two cities among those hit hardest. Much of the area surrounding these towns is still underwater, and rescue efforts are ongoing.

MELISSA JELTSEN/HUFFPOST
A lot of industry and infrastructure sustained damage during Hurricane Harvey, including railroads, roadways and various industrial plants.

The sky was sunny and clear as the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter took off ― a far cry from the flying conditions that Brownlee battled during the storm. On Monday, he flew a search and rescue mission through a torrential downpour, the worst weather he’d ever witnessed as a pilot. He couldn’t see anything except the ground directly below the nose of the aircraft.

“We were using Google Maps to fly above highways, because we know that there are no towers over the highways,” he said. “I don’t think I’m ever going to forget that experience.”

Seen from the sky, the destruction caused by Harvey was on full display. Mile after mile brought scenes of dramatic flooding, with entire fields and neighborhoods swallowed up by water.

Cows congregated on tiny sections of dry land, surrounded by water. Interstate 10, a major connecting highway, was a river. Tractor-trailer trucks stood abandoned along the road.

Eric Cybulski, a flight mechanic who has been with the Coast Guard for 19 years, kept his eyes trained on the ground, looking for anyone in need of rescue.

The destruction, he said, reminded him of the 11 days he spent responding to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, in 2005….

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US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

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image…miltary.com

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Harvey Is Nothing To Do With Global Warming…..

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It ain’t no shark and it ain’t no warming neither

Houston’s flood this week is due to hubris and bad planning rather than global warming.  But hey would we not have to blame someone if it was planning?

Houston for those of us who have never passed through it, is one of those enormous post second war urban sprawls that ooze out across the West.  It was never the cowboys, John Wayne or General Custer that tamed this land, more like General Electric, General Motors and Westinghouse.  The air conditioner, personal cars and the refrigerator opened the land around Houston to become the huge 627.5 square mile of monster city it is today.

And it’s the way you build them that causes much of the problem.

Houston is low lying and near the coast.  And in what might possibly be a clue, much of what has been built on, was swamp.  So it always was prone to flooding.  This is not something new.  And then we need to factor in that much of the rest of the unchecked unregulated development was on prairie.  Now prairie is an interesting eco-system being grass with very deep roots that go far underground.  It is permeable to a fault.  The grass itself grows high and so when water hits prairie there is plenty of places for it all to go, sucked up into the grass above ground or sequestered down in the roots.  What the City fathers in their planning regulations, and the developers only out for a quite sale, have done is turn a sponge into a bathtub.

So, the developers paved over all that prairie with housing, roads, car parks, concrete, concrete, concrete etc, and hey they only discovered afterwards that the water had to go somewhere.  Surprising absolutely no one in particular, it ends up in areas that had not flooded previously.  Because, well it had nowhere else to go.

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And its all downhill to downtown

Next despite what might pass for common sense, the developers filled up the existing flood plains with more buildings.  Even as far back as 1980 there were concerns about building on floodplains and next to bayous.  But noone did anything.  Hey it was Boomtime what could possibly go wrong?  And naturally these developers did not have to put their hands in their corporate pockets to ensure that as they developed the housing they upgraded the infrastructure to allow cast water to be taken away.  And no one seems to have asked them to do that….

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No…Barack Obama was NOT the President during Hurricane Katrina….

I just wanted to post this after I saw something on twitter where some knucklehead was trying to blame President Obama for the slow response to the tragedy  and comparing that to Trump’s handling  Harvey….

President George W. Bush WAS in office during the storm and for more than THREE YEARS afterwards….

Apparently, there are quite a few people on social media platforms who are – unironically – comparing the way Trump handled Harvey to the way Obama handled Katrina. I guess that makes some people believe that I was being serious, too.  I’ve explained to people who questioned me that I was joking, but one person fired back, “You shouldn’t have joked – now the loonies picked it up & ran with it.”

Really? I’m the reason that they’re running with that.

We reported here at NOLA.com in 2013 the results of a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.  When a pool of Republican primary voters in Louisiana was asked, “Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?,” 29 percent answered Obama.

That was four years before I made a joke mocking such jaw-dropping ignorance….

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Mexico offers to help to Houston flood effort…Gets no answer from Trump State Dept?

Politics vs Saving lives?

Mexico sent manpower and supplies during Katrina….

Image result for mexican help during katrina

They are offering help again…

Texas Governor Abbott  (A Republican) has accepted…..

Trump’s State Department hasn’t answered….

Some reports in Mexico say  the help in on the way….

Mexico reached out to the United States over the weekend, offering to assist with Hurricane Harvey, as it did in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, when it sent a convoy of soldiers to aid emergency relief efforts a week after the levees were breached.

But this extended hand—whether genuinely necessary or merely a gesture of solidarity—has gone officially unacknowledged.

Despite reports in Mexico that the proposed aid is on its way, it is not clear that the U.S. has accepted the offer at all. Mexico’s undersecretary of foreign affairs, Carlos Sada, told the BBC that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “immediately accepted”—but that was pending approval from President Donal Trump.

A spokesperson at the State Department clarified in an email, “If a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward.” A spokesperson at Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs—unauthorized to speak on the record—said, “Texas hasn’t answered,” nor has the federal government….

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image…the star.com

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Hurricane Harvey will leave behind a bill in the Billions….

Think storms  Katrina and Sandy…..

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The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey will cost tens of billions of dollars and take years to overcome, experts said.

Harvey descended on the southeastern Texas coastline, overwhelming Houston, a metropolis of 4.5 million people, and leaving an unprecedented swath of devastation. Ten people were reported dead with the death toll expected to rise.

The damage comes at a time when the area’s economy, driven by the shipping, chemical and oil sectors, is booming.

With a gross state product of $1.7 trillion annually, Texas has the second largest economy in United States. If it were its own country, it would place 10th – ahead of South Korea and Canada.

Houston and the Gulf Coast region of Texas accounted for 2.9% of the entire U.S. gross domestic product in 2015.

The Gulf Coast has the third most valuable insured coastal property vulnerable to hurricanes in the country behind New York and Florida.

“If you’re talking about lost wages, property damage and rebuilding costs, it’s going to be really bad,” said Michael Carroll, an economist with the University of North Texas….

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image…money.cnn.com

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Texas storm continues to dump tons of rain…May do so for days….

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The lower part of the state , particularly Harris county around Houston, has been hard hit, with at least 5 deaths so far…..

Two days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southern Texas, the city of Houston faced life-threatening, catastrophic flooding that authorities warned could become “historic.

The National Weather Service reported on Sunday morning that while winds were decreasing and Harvey had been downgraded to a tropical storm, heavy rainfall created life-threatening hazard across much of the state’s southeast region.

Authorities in Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, declared a flood warning overnight Saturday when “a deluge” unfolded as an extremely intense band of rain pivoted through the area.

Thousands of homes in the metropolitan area were threatened by the rising water.

Emergency management officials asked residents to avoid roads and told those escaping the rising waters to not stay in their attics but get on the roof.

Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport canceled all inbound and outbound flights.

The city’s emergency services tweeted around 6.30 a.m. they were at capacity and asked residents to only call if they faced imminent danger.

Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday, after making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday night near Corpus Christi. Meteorologists cautioned, however, the danger was far from over as potential “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding,” continued to threaten parts of the state.

As Harvey lingers over land, the National Weather service warned flooding was expected across much of the middle and upper Texas coast from additional rainfall of 15 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals as high as 40 inches through Thursday…..

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image…abcnews.go.com
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