Tropical Storm Harvey is no longer a hurricane. Even so, the storm has dumped so much rain on the Southeast Texas region. Houston is now under a state of emergency as catastrophic flooding continued on Sunday night.
On Friday night, Harvey made a landfall in the Coastal area of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane before it began to weaken. It hit ashore as the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in more than 50 years.
Despite the weakening of the then-hurricane, the devastation continues as strong flash-floods put Houstonians in a life-threatening situation. Harvey bringsheavy rainsdespite being lowered to a Tropical Storm. The National Hurricane Center has forecasted that rainfall shall total up to 50 inches by Wednesday. According to one meteorologist, an estimated 340 billion gallons of rainfall continues to move in over Houston.
Storm Harvey Death Toll Rises, Urges Pres. Trump to Visit Houston
The inundated region is home to more than 6.5 million people. The historic flooding has turned roads into waist-deep rivers. Vehicles on freeways were washed away by the strong surge.
At least five individuals were reported dead, including a woman who was driving her vehicle into high water.
U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the state in the wake of the historic flooding in Texas, the White House announced. This is the first major natural disaster to storm the country in his term.
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Authorities, Assisted by Citizens, Continue Rescue Efforts
Authorities tirelessly continue the search and rescue operations to locate survivors of the ruthless storm. Local residents with low water boats helped in the rescue efforts.
According to ABC News, the United States Coast Guard has conducted over 200 rescues by air and more than 1000 rescues by water by Sunday.
In addition, the majority of the homeless have been rescued off the streets and are now housed in shelters. Some local police departments have sought assistance from citizens as the rescue operations continue.
Is Houston a Flood-Prone Area?
Although Houston has not experienced anything of the same proportion, the area as become familiar with this type of water in the last years.
Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to bring in more rain for several days. Flooding records have reached their historic-highs as the flooding continues.
The city’s geographic location makes it very susceptible to storms and hurricanes. It nestles just 40 miles from the Gulf Coast. Storms in the late spring through early fall have a tendency to linger in this area.
Furthermore, Houston is relatively flat. The flatness of the terrain has made flooding a common problem in the city. Essentially, Houston is swampland with four major bayous passing right through it. In addition, the downtown sits just 50 feet above sea level.
This combination of factors makes the metro very susceptible to natural disasters such as flooding.
How Do Your Protect Your Home From Floods?
No one can stop a natural disaster from happening. The best thing everybody can do is to prepare for it. Flood insurance will come of great help when uneventful floods happen in your area.
Hazard insurance policiesoften do not cover flooding. It usually a separate product. For those who live in areas that are considered “low-risk” for flood, a flood insurance is usually optional. However, in flood-risk areas, the lender may require the borrower to buy flood insurance for the property.
Are you planning to take government-insured mortgage loans to purchase a house? If it stands right in a SFHA, you must obtain a flood insurance for the property. Otherwise, the agency will not approve you for the loan.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, just a few inches of flood water can translate into thousands of dollar in damage. Because of this, mortgage lenders require borrowers to get a flood insurance before they approve the financing.
FEMA Reaches Out After Houston Disaster
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that individuals affected by Tropical Storm Harvey can apply for federal assistance.
Qualified applicants may receive assistance in the form of rental payments for temporary shelter, home repair and personal property replacement grants, loans covering residential losses not covered by insurance and unemployment among other disaster-related needs.