Harvey has finally passed from the Houston area and is, as of this writing, ravaging the Texas-Louisiana border as it heads inland to eventually burn itself out to become a bitter memory. The city it has left behind has been devastated by torrential rains that invoke the story of the Great Flood as told in the Bible. Roads are still impassable. Stores are still either closed or, if open, have limited provisions. Tens of thousands of suddenly homeless people huddle in full to overflowing shelters wondering about their future.

Homes inundated with no flood insurance

One of the big problems facing many Houston residents is how to pay for repairs to their flooded out homes. Only a fifth of Houstonians carried flood insurance. The remainder were secure in the belief that since their homes never flooded in the past that they never would. Harvey quickly and brutally disabused them of the notion.

Fixing a flooded out home and replacing ruined possessions can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Most people do not have that kind of money readily available. To be sure the government and some banks will have low-interest loans available, but how does one take on that additional debt on top of a mortgage?

The oil and gas industry affected

Of greater concern to the wider world beyond Texas has been the impact on the Oil And Gas industry. Because drilling and refining of petroleum products within the Harvey strike zone ceased, prices for gasoline and related products are likely to increase. Also. Exxon-Mobil reports a breach in two of its refineries, spilling pollutants into the environment. One thing that the Houston area does not need is an ecological disaster on top of the rain and flood damage.

The bottom line

The fourth Largest City in America has been hammered as thoroughly as any metropolis can be outside of enemy action in wartime.

The cost of recovery will be counted in months and in the tens of billions of dollars. A couple of dozen people so far are known to have died as a direct result of Harvey. The injured number in the hundreds and perhaps, when the accounting is made, in the thousands.

A lot of the wounds left by Harvey will be invisible ones. The loss of everything can do things to a person similar to what combat does to a soldier. Even when they are made whole individuals who have gone through such an experience will look back on it with dread.

A distant sound of thunder, a sudden rain storm, will cause shaking, whimpers of terror, and flashbacks of what for too many were the worse few days of their lives.

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