Sep 6th, 2017, 04:40 PM

Hurricane Harvey: The Aftermath

By Katie Zambrano
Image credit: Flickr/Jill Carlson
Houstonians remain hopeful in light of devastation.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey dominated headlines with stories of tragedy and catastrophe. The Lone Star State had been struck with one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded in American history. A record breaking 50+ inches of rain poured down on the south eastern region of Texas and a reported 60 people were killed due to the forceful floodwaters. Families and local businesses were heartbreakingly robbed of everything and forced to evacuate, and children were left in a whirlwind of confusion as the start of schools was delayed.

Image credit: Flickr/SC National Guard

Growing up in The Great State of Texas myself, I can assure you that it was and still is a scary situation for the entirety of the state. However, the kindhearted nature of Texans and good Samaritans alike has not gone unnoticed. Members of the community have come together in Houston's most desperate time of need to make the most of the horrors of Hurricane Harvey, participating in heroic acts of kindness and bravery for their fellow neighbors. Friends have gathered up truckloads of food, water, and general supplies and driven down to the flooded region to help in any way. Nurses have volunteered to spend endless shifts in nearby hospitals, providing much needed medical assistance to those in need. Civilians, known as the "Cajun Navy," took advantage of their boats and jet skis to assist those who found themselves trapped inside their homes, unable to find a way out. Countless forms of human chains were made to keep others from being swept away in the dangerous waters. Dedicated animal lovers have been caught on camera doing whatever they can to rescue stranded animals. And, baker's at El Bolillo Bakery became trapped inside the bakery during the hurricane. Making the most out of the situation, the bakers began baking sheets of pastries to feed hurricane victims.

Image credit: Flickr/SC National Guard

Even AUP's own community has been affected by the events. Student Patrick Nizio luckily did not experience Hurricane Harvey firsthand as he left the day before it hit, however, the worry was still there. "Thankfully throughout the past two weeks my family has not been affected by any floods or destruction, but the same cannot be said for many of my friends there." Patrick continued to share, "It was one thing to see unfortunate scenes of people having to leave their homes and go to shelters on TV, but to see my friends having to do the same is what made it real to me." For most locals, like Patrick, Hurricane Harvey proved to be a surreal event that did not seem plausible. On the bright side, Houstonians are willing to move forward and rebuild their city for the better. As overwhelming as the reality is, Houston will preservere.

Help is still wanted and needed. Here's how you can contribute:

The Greater Houston Community Foundation: Mayor Sylvester Turner instituted this Hurricane Harvey relief fund, connecting donors with nonprofits to provide aid to those affected by the hurricane. You can also text HARVEY2017 to 91999 to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Houston SPCA: The Houston SPCA is the lead nonprofit animal-related agency responsible for disaster rescue, recovery and relief efforts. Many animals were displaced, injured, and also left without a home. Donating would make a world of difference.

Houston Food Bank: With everything in their possession washed away, many affected by the hurricane find themselves without food. Donate now to make a difference.