Hurricane Harvey hits Houston



Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, was underwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. This brutal storm was likely to be ranked as one of the nation’s costliest natural disasters. Billions were lost in economic activity, and property damage was seen throughout the city. The outlook for recovery is optimistic, but short term disruptions were definitely expected.

Driveway of a home located near the bayou

The Houston area accounts for about 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, so what does this mean for the interest of the nation? The Houston area is known for its growing population and attracts investments regarding the oil-related manufacturing. It also plays a vital role in global trade due to the fact that it accounts for about half of petroleum and gas exports. It is safe to say that Hurricane Harvey has caused disruptions to the nation’s refinery and petroleum industries in the first two months after the hurricane.

Because Houston housed about 30 percent of the nation’s refining capacity and half were affected by the storm, prices for gasoline increased. This increase in gas prices did not make the traffic situation any better. As roads were shut off, people were forced to pay more to put in more gas to prepare for sitting in traffic for a couple hours. Valeria Moreno, senior, shares her experience of Houston traffic after Harvey. “A 15 minute drive to Memorial City Mall took an hour and 30 minutes because of the traffic,” she stated. 

First floor under construction
Hurricane debris

Not only were economic activities affected, but property damage was seen across the city. If anyone were to drive down Memorial, they would see yards covered in furniture and debris. Because the flooding went into most of the homes in Houston, people are now having to completely tear their first floor apart to make their homes livable once again. Jenna Sheshtawy (12th) is a resident of a home close to the bayou and she shares her experience of fixing her home. “My family and I didn’t expect Harvey to be as bad as it was so by the time we evacuated, we had to evacuate in small boats. It was strange seeing my driveway as a mini river and not being able to access my own home for a week. Now, we are in the process of completely redoing our first floor.” Jenna, similar to many residents living close to the bayou, is now living in a temporary home.

Although Harvey is still affecting many parts of Houston, Houston’s recovery is truly a sight to see. Nothing can tear down the city of Houston; this hurricane has only made us stronger!

First sunset after Hurricane Harvey