Hurricane Harvey | KERA News

Hurricane Harvey

Port Aransas was built on a carefree lifestyle – the idea that you could leave the daily grind behind for the island life. Hurricane Harvey washed away that image for those who live and work there. Carefree days turned into a grind of insurance entanglements, contractor delays, ferry lines and worry after worry.

But with every storm there's opportunity.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

One year after Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast, 10 percent of the people impacted by the disaster have not been able to return to their homes, according to a report from two nonprofits that surveyed Texans about how the storm affected their finances, health and living conditions.

Hurricane Harvey took a big whack to the shrimp industry's bottom line in Texas, but the storm's legacy may be what it did to the smallest shrimpers on the Coastal Bend.

It has been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas’ Gulf Coast, bringing heavy rains and widespread flooding.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson checks in with KUT reporter Jimmy Maas (@maasdinero), who has been speaking with victims of the storm to see how they’re doing today.

From Texas Standard:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the Rebuild Texas Fund reported the amount of recovery money Nueces County, where Port Aransas is located, has received. The reporting agency is called the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.

City leaders say Hurricane Harvey damaged 100 percent of Port Aransas' businesses and 85 percent of the beach community's homes.

Chemical plants and oil refineries spewed millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and on the ground after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas a year ago. Some parts of the state did a better job than others in controlling those emissions and spills, according to a new report that tries to take lessons from Harvey to better prepare for the next storm.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Four dozen Texas gasoline stations accused of Hurricane Harvey-related price gouging have agreed to issue refunds to purchasers.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

It's summer in Texas, and that’s got many people heading for their nearest pool, or, as tradition has it, the Gulf. But one of the state’s most beloved beach getaway destinations, Port Aransas, took what amounts to a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey in August, and the town’s still bouncing back.

The Texas Tribune

Texas is ready for the next Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday after participating in a briefing with President Donald Trump to prepare for storm season, which began Friday.

Hurricanes are moving more slowly over both land and water, and that's bad news for communities in their path.

In the past 70 years, tropical cyclones around the world have slowed down 10 percent, and in some regions of the world, the change has been even more significant, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

That means storms are spending more time hanging out, battering buildings with wind and dropping more rain.

Hurricane Harvey, which devastated South Texas last August, was powered by what scientists say were the highest ocean temperatures they've ever seen in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Advocacy groups say Texas is poised to unfairly distribute $5-plus billion in federal funding provided for housing repairs following Hurricane Harvey — prioritizing wealthy homeowners over poorer victims in ways that could constitute racial discrimination.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

After Hurricane Harvey hammered the Texas Gulf Coast, state and federal officials decided to change some of the ways they respond to a disaster.

The Environmental Protection Agency has removed a toxic waste site flooded by Hurricane Harvey from a special list of contaminated sites that require the personal attention of the agency's leader, because it says there's been significant progress on a cleanup plan.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

STAFFORD — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, formally began his re-election campaign Monday, hitting the road extolling Lone Star State exceptionalism — especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

From Texas Standard.

In Texas, where the weather is no laughing matter, it’s not an exaggeration to say storms are wreaking havoc in many parts of the state.

On Thursday, tornadoes touched down near Rockport and Refugio. KUT Ausin’s Jimmy Maas says at least three Texas communities recovering from Harvey – Holiday Beach, Seadrift, and Woodsboro – are once again picking up the pieces.

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

Information Technology Disaster Resource Center

It's been six months since Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. The Fort Worth-based nonprofit Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) was among the organizations helping residents in the aftermath, rebuilding internet and phone connections.

The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau has a message for you: The city and its beaches are open for business.

Hurricane Harvey walloped the area just six months ago, so why the rush?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

It’s been six months since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, damaging buildings, claiming or totally changing lives and inundating the southeastern part of the state with historic rainfall.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Texas communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey will be able to apply for more than $1 billion in federal funds that can be used on projects to help prevent or lessen damage from future storms, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

From Texas Standard.

After a long night in Congress – propelled by an hours-long objection from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky)– lawmakers passed a budget measure to avert another government shutdown. Texas Sen. John Cornyn called Paul’s blockade “irresponsible.”

Sean Theriault, a professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas, says that Thursday night was typical behavior from Rand Paul, particularly because he’s known as a deficit hawk.

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The left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, based in Austin, works on everything from health care to hunger.

Executive Director Ann Beeson lays out the most pressing issues she thinks Texans, especially low-to-moderate income Texans, are up against in 2018.

Hurricane Harvey brought more rain than any other hurricane in recorded U.S. history, the National Hurricane Center says.

The center released its final report on the record-breaking storm this morning, putting the death toll at at least 68, all in Texas, with 36 of those in the Houston and Harris County area. Harvey is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of storm damage, as well, the center found, with an estimated cost of $125 billion in damages, compared to Katrina’s $160 billion.

NOAA / Twitter

Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, making it the most expensive U.S. disaster last year.

With hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record-high bill in 2017 for weather disasters: $306 billion.

Recovery efforts are ongoing in Houston from nearly $200 billion worth of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August.

More than 100,000 homes were damaged in historic flooding, and thousands of residents are still living in hotels and rental housing while they wait for insurance checks.

Allison V. Smith / KERA News special contributor

Low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And those poor neighborhoods are also disproportionately communities of color. 

Refugio head football Coach Jason Herring spent all summer planning for this week, the Texas Class 2A State Championship game. He would have no idea how far he would have to veer from that plan to get to this point.

From Texas Standard.

Thousands of residents living near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in northwest Houston are still in cleanup mode after their homes were inundated. It was only after the rain stopped falling that many of those homeowners discovered they were living in zones intended to be flooded in order to save downtown Houston from disaster.

Weren’t developers required to tell buyers this information? If officials knew these areas were flood pools, why would they permit construction on these sites in the first place?

Allison V. Smith / KERA news special contributor

Close to 4,000 people made their way to North Texas Red Cross shelters to escape Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic flooding that came with it. The storm claimed lives, homes and people's sense of security.

KERA's series One Crisis Away: After The Flood has the story of a man who left Port Arthur for good to start over in Fort Worth, with high hopes of re-starting his career too.

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