(Harris County, TX) – As the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end, weather experts are calling it the most destructive season on record. Three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria – were responsible for most of the destruction. Harvey spread a destructive path across much of southeast Texas, while Irma impacted Florida and Maria shattered Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Central Texas Coast as a Category 4 storm late Friday, August 25th and by the next day, its heavy rainfall stalled in our region causing catastrophic flooding in Harris and surrounding counties. Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain across the region, the highest amount in United States history.
“Although Harvey was a hurricane, its effects on us in Harris County were primarily as a rain event. A trillion gallons of water fell across Harris County over just four days – more than most cities get in a year,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Clearly, this was the most destructive flood our area has ever experienced.”
Harris County officials confirmed 36 deaths due to Harvey, and early estimates indicate that damages will most likely surpass the $160 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“Damages are still being assessed and it may be a while before we know an exact number, but we are doing everything we can to help restore our communities,” added Emmett. “We are truly grateful to all who have contributed to help residents impacted by the storm.”
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has been working closely with local, state, federal and non-profit partners to help expedite the recovery process. To date, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that $675 million for household assistance has been approved in Harris County.
HCOHSEM reminds residents affected by Harvey that the deadline to register for federal assistance is November 30th. To apply go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.
Hurricane season officially ends on November 30th, but residents are encouraged to stay informed and be prepared for emergencies throughout the year. They can go to www.readyharris.org to sign up for emergency alerts or download the ReadyHarris app on their mobile devices to access information and preparedness tips.