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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Like Harvey, Imelda's Torrential Rains Render Southeast Texas Roads Impassable

Sep 20, 2019
Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Tropical Depression Imelda dumped as much as 43 inches of rain in parts of Southeast Texas over the past few days. Weather experts rank Imelda as the seventh-wettest tropical storm in U.S. history, but the extent of the damage is unclear.

Kenneth Leverier
Jen Rice / Houston Public Media

It's been two years since Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, and some residents are still struggling to fix their homes and navigate a complex maze to get help. Kenneth Leverier has owned his house in Trinity Gardens for 15 years and says it never flooded until Harvey. 

The First Baptist Church in Refugio
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast two years ago Sunday. The Rev. T. Wayne Price remembers his lowest point – returning two days after the storm to the First Baptist Church of Refugio.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott signed four bills into law Thursday aimed at bolstering the state’s emergency preparedness and disaster relief programs, including framework that provides more than $1.6 billion for flood control projects and repairs across the state.

Angel Portillo doesn't think about climate change much. It's not that he doesn't care. He just has other things to worry about. Climate change seems so far away, so big.

Lately though, Portillo says he has been thinking about it more often.

Standing on the banks of a swollen and surging Arkansas River, just upriver from a cluster of flooded businesses and homes, it's easy to see why.

"Stuff like this," he says, nodding at the frothy brown waters, "all of the tornadoes that have been happening — it just doesn't seem like a coincidence, you know?"

Wind turbines
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The 2019 legislative session saw fights over renewable energy, climate resilience and pipeline construction. Now that the dust is settling on the field of battle, what do the results tell us about Texas lawmakers' priorities for energy and the environment?

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature on Sunday advanced a $250.7 billion two-year budget, ending weeks of deliberation over how much money to spend on the 2019 legislative session’s two highest priorities: public school funding and property tax relief.

If they had known, they never would have bought the house on Bayou Glen Road. Sure, it was a beautiful lot, tucked in a bend of the creek, backyard woodsy and wild, the neighbors friendly and the street quiet. A little piece of nature just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. It was exactly what John and Heather Papadopoulos — recently married, hoping to start a family — were looking for in 2007. They didn't think much about the creek that ran along their yard, aside from appreciating the birds it attracted to the neighborhood.

Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Houston in 2017.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AUSTIN — A commission convened by Gov. Greg Abbott to focus on rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey issued a report Thursday saying the state should take a series of steps to prepare for the next big storm, including hardening utilities against natural disasters, improving the debris removal processes and expanding a council devoted to emergency management.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came out with an analysis this fall that found Austin and other parts of the state should expect more flooding in the future. And, as it turns out, Texas may see even more flooding than the Atlas 14 study suggests.

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.

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