Hurricane Harvey | KERA News

Hurricane Harvey

The Environmental Protection Agency has removed a toxic waste site flooded by Hurricane Harvey from a special list of contaminated sites that require the personal attention of the agency's leader, because it says there's been significant progress on a cleanup plan.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

STAFFORD — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, formally began his re-election campaign Monday, hitting the road extolling Lone Star State exceptionalism — especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

From Texas Standard.

In Texas, where the weather is no laughing matter, it’s not an exaggeration to say storms are wreaking havoc in many parts of the state.

On Thursday, tornadoes touched down near Rockport and Refugio. KUT Ausin’s Jimmy Maas says at least three Texas communities recovering from Harvey – Holiday Beach, Seadrift, and Woodsboro – are once again picking up the pieces.

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

Information Technology Disaster Resource Center

It's been six months since Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. The Dallas-based nonprofit Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) was among the organizations helping residents in the aftermath, rebuilding internet and phone connections.

The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau has a message for you: The city and its beaches are open for business.

Hurricane Harvey walloped the area just six months ago, so why the rush?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

It’s been six months since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, damaging buildings, claiming or totally changing lives and inundating the southeastern part of the state with historic rainfall.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Texas communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey will be able to apply for more than $1 billion in federal funds that can be used on projects to help prevent or lessen damage from future storms, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

From Texas Standard.

After a long night in Congress – propelled by an hours-long objection from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky)– lawmakers passed a budget measure to avert another government shutdown. Texas Sen. John Cornyn called Paul’s blockade “irresponsible.”

Sean Theriault, a professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas, says that Thursday night was typical behavior from Rand Paul, particularly because he’s known as a deficit hawk.

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The left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, based in Austin, works on everything from health care to hunger.

Executive Director Ann Beeson lays out the most pressing issues she thinks Texans, especially low-to-moderate income Texans, are up against in 2018.

Hurricane Harvey brought more rain than any other hurricane in recorded U.S. history, the National Hurricane Center says.

The center released its final report on the record-breaking storm this morning, putting the death toll at at least 68, all in Texas, with 36 of those in the Houston and Harris County area. Harvey is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of storm damage, as well, the center found, with an estimated cost of $125 billion in damages, compared to Katrina’s $160 billion.

NOAA / Twitter

Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, making it the most expensive U.S. disaster last year.

With hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record-high bill in 2017 for weather disasters: $306 billion.

Recovery efforts are ongoing in Houston from nearly $200 billion worth of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August.

More than 100,000 homes were damaged in historic flooding, and thousands of residents are still living in hotels and rental housing while they wait for insurance checks.

Allison V. Smith / KERA News special contributor

Low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And those poor neighborhoods are also disproportionately communities of color. 

Refugio head football Coach Jason Herring spent all summer planning for this week, the Texas Class 2A State Championship game. He would have no idea how far he would have to veer from that plan to get to this point.

From Texas Standard.

Thousands of residents living near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in northwest Houston are still in cleanup mode after their homes were inundated. It was only after the rain stopped falling that many of those homeowners discovered they were living in zones intended to be flooded in order to save downtown Houston from disaster.

Weren’t developers required to tell buyers this information? If officials knew these areas were flood pools, why would they permit construction on these sites in the first place?

Allison V. Smith / KERA news special contributor

Close to 4,000 people made their way to North Texas Red Cross shelters to escape Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic flooding that came with it. The storm claimed lives, homes and people's sense of security.

KERA's series One Crisis Away: After The Flood has the story of a man who left Port Arthur for good to start over in Fort Worth, with high hopes of re-starting his career too.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Hurricane Harvey and the devastating rainfall that came with it displaced thousands of families; and some landed in North Texas.

Three and a half months after the storm, more than a hundred of those families have decided to stay. KERA's series One Crisis Away: After The Flood shares the journey of woman who’s been through this before — 12 years ago, after Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic damage in Houston, but the historic deluge also brought calamity to the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay. The aftermath of the storm threatens two vital industries — one mammoth and ironclad, the other small and slimy: shipping and oysters.

Fire Boat One cruises down the Houston Ship Channel — one of the hardest working waterways in America.

One of the casualties of Hurricane Harvey has been parts of Houston's thriving arts and culture community. Four days of torrential rainfall nearly drowned the city's opera, ballet, and theater companies, along with a revered mural. But they're drying out and starting over.

On Aug. 28, as engorged Buffalo Bayou crept into Houston's Theater District, Perryn Leech and Dean Gladden pulled on slickers and rubber boots and headed downtown for a look.

Allison V. Smith / KERA news special contributor

Three months ago, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast and settled over southeast Texas for three days, dumping feet, not inches of rain. Thousands evacuated before the storm made landfall, others had to be rescued. Just shy of 4,000 people came to Red Cross shelters in Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving. About 120 families have decided to stay.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Restoring water to Harvey-affected areas ; racist flyers were hung around SMU again; details about baby born from mother with uterus transplant; and more.

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally over, scientists are taking stock of what they say was a monumental year.

A total of 10 hurricanes swept the region. Six were major storms of Category 3 or higher, and three of those were Category 4 or higher when they made landfall, spreading havoc from the Caribbean to Texas.

The Atlantic Ocean is vast and has always made its own weather. But a typical year sees about six hurricanes, not 10. And three strong hurricanes hitting land — Harvey, Irma and Maria — is extraordinary.

So what's going on?

From Texas Standard.

Much debris has been cleared out, but three months after Harvey’s landfall, the ecological damage is still being assessed. Not long after the storm clouds cleared, oyster and shrimp farmers lamented the hit to their livelihoods from extensive rains and runoff.

But researchers at the University of Houston at Clear Lake have been looking at the storm’s effect on other marine life, too – and they’ve discovered that bottlenose dolphins, have developed some puzzling ailments after the storm. Kristi Fazioli, a research associate with the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston Clear Lake, helps study this population.

Red Cross of North Texas / Flickr

In 2005, Keith Rhodes was running the Methodist Home for Children in New Orleans. Then, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast. He had to evacuate dozens of kids, and move his own family to safety.

Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeast Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills.

She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. "They were looking and crying, like, 'We're gonna lose everything,' " said Soloman. "And I'm like, 'No, it gonna be OK.' "

When the water began rushing under the front door, filling up the house like a bathtub, Soloman led her family outside, and plunged into a river of water up to her chest.

Three months after the Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the Texas Coastal Bend is still far from back to normal. The Category 4 storm delivered winds of 130 miles-per-hour that battered Aransas County communities, and many residents there are still without housing.


After Hurricane Harvey, some Texas residents, politicians and scientists are wondering whether the whole U.S. system for predicting floods is any good.

The storm's deluge flooded parts of southeast Texas that had rarely, or never, been underwater before. Some areas got more than 50 inches of rain in a few days. "When the numbers started coming in it was a little scary," says Matt Zeve, the director of operations for the Harris County Flood Control District, which includes Houston.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Gov. Abbott disappointed with Harvey relief figure; DMA curator resigns; when will D-FW see its first freeze?; and more.

Juan Flores and his family live in Galena Park, Texas, which is bordered on three sides by pipeline terminals, oil refineries, fertilizer plants and rail yards.

Flores has lived in the town of about 11,000 people just east of downtown Houston since he was 4 years old. For a while, he even served on the City Council.

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