On Aug. 27, Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas and has dumped huge amounts of water into the area, specifically the city of Houston, which has received over 50 inches of water over the last several days and experienced huge amounts of damage as a result.
While accounts vary, the death toll has reached somewhere around 30 locals, with over 4,200 people already having been rescued by the National Guard and plenty more needing help as Harvey heads towards Louisiana. The reports are that the going will only get worse, as government officials in Texas say it is one of the worst storms to hit the state, with Hurricane Wilma the last category three or higher hurricane to hit the U.S. since 2005.
While it is a grim time for the state of Texas, the state is banding together, with cities like Dallas sending thousands of dollars in food and supplies in relief. A local of El Paso, Texas, shared his comments over FaceTime on the Texas community.
“It shows that it might be the largest state in the U.S. but we still care for each other and love each other. When things happen and tragedy hits the people step up and help each other,” said Yinka Oye-Odofin about the response from the state.
Oye-Odofin was a track star at Utep, the local university, running the hurdles and 4×4 events while going to school for engineering. While the shock of the Hurricane has been something that has effected the entire state, there has been a push to help in every community.
“People are having to make sure loved ones are still fine, with lots of students who have family in Houston and need to try and find out where they are and how they are doing and what they need,” said Oye-Odofin. “But there is also a desire to help in any way, with the school [Utep] sending aid as well as the community trying to help out and pray for Texas and do what they can. Everyone is just trying to make sense of who has been affected and how to help.”
Another inspiring story is that of the aid being raised by athletes and teams, with the NFL leading all sports in fundraising. The New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and NFL Foundation pledged $1 million each, with Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, matching his team’s donation. J.J. Watt, star defensive end for the Texans, has already raised over $5 million via his social media following. In the MLB, St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter and Adam Wainwright have pledged a combined $13,000 to the cause. The sports world has come together to send aid to Texas.
“The only way a huge city like that could bounce back is with things like athletes helping the city bounce back,” said Oye-Odofin. “It shows the athletes are just regular people who feel compassion and not being selfish and wanting to give back to people that have been affected by tragedy is a great way to share their wealth.”
The important thing is that Texas is not alone in this tragedy. If you feel the need to help in some way, you can donate through the Red Cross or you can check out Watt’s social media pages for information.