Hurricane Harvey hits the Gulf Coast

Hurricane Harvey just hit the Gulf Coast along Texas and Louisiana. The states are now back on the road to recovery as Harvey caused billions of dollars in damage. Harvey hit the coast on August 25th and is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years. It killed an estimated 50 people, drove more than one million out of their homes, and 200,000 homes were damaged over a 300 mile radius. Harvey has outnumbered the cost in damages over big hurricanes like Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005 and Sandy that hit New York City in 2012.

Science teacher Brian Dickman followed the hurricane closely and explained how it differs from the infamous Hurricane Katrina.
“Houston has been poorly urbanized. They have way too much pavement, the water has nowhere to go, it can’t soak into the ground, it just puddles in the lowest spots,” said Dickmann.

Katrina was caused by breach of levy, while Harvey set a Continental North American record for single rainfall. The storm lasted nine days and the rain did not stop, adding up to an approximate 50 inches of rain. With Hurricane Irma following Harvey into Florida and Hurricane Jose on Irma’s heels, the question of climate change comes up quite a bit.
Dickman has been talking to his classes about climate change, and the definition of theory adds to the debate.

“It just adds to the data. Climate change is just a theory. A theory is viewable, observable data over a long period of time that leads to a result. The data is there to prove that this could be caused by climate change,” Dickmann explained.

The Hurricane has been over for a week now and is being said that Texas is 95 percent dry and people are returning to what is left of their homes. People are coming together to help those affected by Harvey. Football player J.J. Watts from the Houston Texans’ started a fund with a goal of $200,000 and raised more than $10 million. The money is being donated towards supplies for shelters and helping tear apart houses and put them back together again. The Trump administration asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling for the cities affected by Harvey.

One of our own, Hilliard Davidson High School, has planned a relief effort for Harvey victims. A Junior at Davidson, Gina Vatelle, came up with a plan to have each class bring something in to donate. Assistant football coach Kyle Yant is also collecting athletic gear and uniforms to send to students in Texas. Companies across the nation are donating large amounts of money to relief.

Yant described how the small idea snowballed into something even bigger.

“I wasn’t expecting anything. I thought we would get a few t-shirts and that’s all. But then the track, baseball, lacrosse and basketball teams organized and donated shirts as well. The turnout was unbelievable! We had about six or seven boxes filled with clothing for the victims. I know it’s a small piece but hopefully this will bring a smile to those in need. I’m lucky to graduate from Hilliard Davidson and now coach for them as well. The Hilliard community is something special.”

This is just a small example of how the whole nation has come together to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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