Hurricane Effects

Allison Markowski, Staff Writer

Over the course of the past month, the southern part of the country has faced severe tragedy, with two colossal hurricanes striking both Texas and Florida. The first to hit was Hurricane Harvey, which extended from August 17th to September 3rd. Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. This hurricane also ended an extensive drought that had been occurring for the past 12 years. Approximately 17,000 rescues transpired, and hundreds of thousands of homes have crucial flood damage. Harvey clocked up to a category 4 hurricane, with winds coming in at an intense 145 miles per hour. Although the hurricane has died down and is done, now the more than a million people have to deal with the effects the storm has created. Tens of billions of dollars have been needed for the repair. Hundreds of Texas schools are devastated, as they have been completely destroyed.

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and their duties are to support and assist citizens and first responders to protect from all calamity. A FEMA official, when being interviewed by a CNN representative,  was asked how long they will be in Texas to help recover, and his response was, “We’ll be in Texas for years.” President  Donald Trump, has provided aid to the victims, tweeting that he had discussed with both the governors of Texas and Louisiana about “closely monitoring Hurricane Harvey developments and here to assist as needed.”

There were four key elements that were affected by the storm; population, environment, economy, and people’s health.

Population was affected by the record rainfall of approximately 50 inches, tens of thousands of people evacuated to avoid the storm. As a result of the extensive damages, they will have to stay out of the area of an extended amount of time.

Over 15 trillion gallons of water had fallen, which drastically altered the environment. The excessive amounts of water are preventing it from being capable of going back to it’s original state for years. One effect of the great deal of water was that it contributed to a pipeline burst, which released chemicals, and caused trapped residents to report having itchy throats and eyes. The chemical damage did not major have impacts on the people, but had an negative consequence on the environment.

John McMillian is a seventy year old man battling Leukemia who was in town at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for a five day treatment. He made it through the first three days of treatment, but missed the last two due to the hurricane. He is in stable condition but was unable to finish treatment.

Houston is home to about half of the country’s oil production, but as a result of Harvey, over half of the area’s oil refineries aren’t properly functioning. This has boosted the US gasoline price by 4%. Another product that has been suffering due to Harvey is cotton. The storm completely wiped out the crop, and prior, there were reports that workers stayed out 24 hours at a time trying to save as much of the harvest as they could, but were unsuccessful to get the whole harvest.

As Harvey was causing a massacre in Texas, another catastrophic hurricane was occurring. Hurricane Irma extended from August 30th to September 16th, affecting Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and eight other locations. Irma reached a category 5 hurricane, with winds reaching 185 miles per hour. This hurricane’s winds were record breaking, with the strongest and fastest since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. 4.4 million people went without power, and 72 people were killed by the hurricane. Damages have reached a massive cost of $100 billion in repair. An estimated 400,000 cars were flooded in the storm.

One of the areas in Florida that was hit the hardest was the Florida Keys, where over 90% of properties were damaged. Because the Keys is a little strip of land surrounded by water, there are not as many efficient shelters, and it was much more important to evacuate. A total of 25% of the Key’s properties were completely destroyed.

One area that was the most impacted was Puerto Rico. This is a country that has low funding in general, and this is now monstrously affecting them as a country. Puerto Rico’s electric provider, the PREPA, let out a statement that due to little to no funds, the power for residents will not be turned back on for an expected six months.

With all of the recent tragedy, many people have been curious about where to donate. For more details to donate for Hurricane Harvey, visit 

And for donation information for Hurricane Irma, visit