Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast Aug. 25, 2017, as a Category 4 storm, with sustained wind speeds over 130 mph. Harvey weakened to a tropical storm and then stalled over the southeast part of the state, leading to a record-setting 50 inches of rain in parts of Houston and causing severe flooding. Many people were rescued from their cars and homes by volunteers called on to help local authorities. At least 70 deaths have been blamed on the storm. Two weeks after it hit, an estimated 32,000 people were still in shelters.   

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Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities.

But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Port Aransas was built on a carefree lifestyle – the idea that you could leave the daily grind behind for the island life. Hurricane Harvey washed away that image for those who live and work there. Carefree days turned into a grind of insurance entanglements, contractor delays, ferry lines and worry after worry.

But with every storm there's opportunity.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hurricane Harvey took a big whack to the shrimp industry's bottom line in Texas, but the storm's legacy may be what it did to the smallest shrimpers on the Coastal Bend.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast one year ago this Saturday. Rockport took the brunt of the storm’s high-speed winds and tornadoes that spun off as it moved inland.

As the city picked up the pieces, one woman decided to help anyone and everyone she could. 

It has been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas’ Gulf Coast, bringing heavy rains and widespread flooding.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson checks in with KUT reporter Jimmy Maas (@maasdinero), who has been speaking with victims of the storm to see how they’re doing today.

Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

Just days after Hurricane Harvey released its grip on Texas a year ago, Guillermo Martinez Ayme was hard at work in the rebuilding effort.

He was one of more than 100 workers laboring from sunrise to sunset seven days a week, gutting a MainStay Suites hotel in Ingleside, 20 minutes north of Corpus Christi, that had been totaled by the storm. They worked 10- and 12-hour shifts in stifling summer heat, tearing down mold-infested walls, discarding storm debris and moving rotting furniture out of the four-story building.

Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Up and down the Gulf Coast, Texans are still trying to get back to where they were before Hurricane Harvey hit. Some have had to rebuild from the ground up. For others, the trouble is with the ground itself.

Jill Ament/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the Rebuild Texas Fund reported the amount of recovery money Nueces County, where Port Aransas is located, has received. The reporting agency is called the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.

City leaders say Hurricane Harvey damaged 100 percent of Port Aransas' businesses and 85 percent of the beach community's homes.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Chemical plants and oil refineries spewed millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and on the ground after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas a year ago. Some parts of the state did a better job than others in controlling those emissions and spills, according to a new report that tries to take lessons from Harvey to better prepare for the next storm.

Texas Tribune

Texas is ready for the next Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday after participating in a briefing with President Donald Trump to prepare for the upcoming storm season.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Residents of Texas and Puerto Rico are still recovering from the last hurricane season, as the next season is set to start. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2018 is going to be an active one.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is seeking more money for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, and he’s asking Gov. Greg Abbott to dip into the state’s rainy day fund to pay for it. The governor says Houston has access to $50 million, of which the city has used only $5 million. And now there’s a war of words between Turner and other local officials seeking funding and Abbott.

Getty Images

Hurricane Harvey, which devastated south Texas last August, was powered by what scientists say were the highest ocean temperatures they've ever seen in the Gulf of Mexico.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

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.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Spring break is a time to relax and get away for vacationers, but it’s a make or break season for businesses along the Gulf Coast. And that’s especially so this year, as the region tries to rebound from Hurricane Harvey. So we at the Texas Standard made a few calls. We asked a basic question – how’s business?

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

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?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

We’ve reached a meaningful marker since Hurricane Harvey battered many communities in Texas – it’s been six months now since the storm. The recovery effort was supposed to be a model in streamlining, but now we know it’s been kind of a tangled mess.

We’ve brought you the voices of city leaders and Texas residents who say getting back on their feet after Harvey has been very hard and the process of getting help from federal and state officials has been slow.

PROJay Phagan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

After Hurricane Harvey, many Texans realized just how wrong experts were about flood control measures in the state’s most populous city. But Houston isn’t the only Texas city at risk from bad or outdated flood plans.

An investigation by the Corpus Christi Caller Times found that the city’s flood maps are outdated – they’ve gone without revision for three decades. The maps were first drafted for a vastly different Corpus Christi.

Saiberiac/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

All eyes are on Washington as temporary spending measures and DACA hover at the top of our debates and news feeds, but one big task Congress has yet to tackle involves a long-stalled $81 billion disaster relief package that would benefit Texans rebuilding from Harvey, as well as aid victims of hurricanes Maria and Irma. Texas farmers demanding a cotton provision are one group that’s been delaying the bill.

Kevin Diaz, Washington correspondent for Hearst Papers in Texas including the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio-Express News, says the relief package has been in the works since November.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

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.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

Today marks five months since Hurricane Harvey hit Port Aransas, and while there's been real progress on the cleanup, the island town still has a ways to go.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

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?

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

It’s been seven weeks since Harvey hit the Texas coast, and the small inland town of Refugio is still in recovery mode. The process has been slower than residents would like, but spirits are still high.

“It’s been rough,” said Mary Rushing. “Of course, we closed down for two to three weeks, you know, mold and stinky and stuff like that.”

Rushing is a florist and owns a Nona’s Flower Box in Refugio. She’s lived in the town for 17 years. She says it’s starting to look like the community she knows.

Austin Price for KUT

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.

What can we learn from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria? To answer that question, and to facilitate planning for future storms, seven universities in Florida, Louisiana and Texas are pooling their money to put together what could be a first-of-its-kind center for hurricane research.

Craig LeMoult

From Texas Standard.

Last week at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, addressed the need for more federal aid after Hurricane Harvey.

“We do not have the adequate resources, and this is going to be on the verge of a government shutdown if Texas and all the other victims of these hurricanes do not have a compromise where we can work together. I would encourage you to tell the president that it is not enough,” Jackson Lee told Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security.

Will McCarthy

From Texas Standard.

The Texas Gulf Coast is still on the mend from Hurricane Harvey. The deadly storm displaced residents and caused damage that will take many more months to fully repair. But repairs aside, how long will it take for hard-hit areas to really recover? One way to predict that answer is to look to the past. It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on Texas.

Galveston Bay Dolphin Research and Conservation Program

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.

Pu Ying Huang for Texas Tribune

ORANGE — With her husband incarcerated on a murder charge, Jacquene Fontenot single-handedly wakes and dresses five kids under the age of 5 every morning, drops them off at a local child care center and drives two hours to her job as a custodian in central Louisiana.

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