Hurricane Harvey ravaged both rich and poor across Houston and its neighboring communities, as no particular group, race, or class of people was spared.

The entire city of Houston and its surrounding communities are traumatized by the flood. The Mayor of Houston worried that a full-scale evacuation of residents from America’s fourth largest city would be disastrous in the face of the oncoming tropical storm, and he asked residents not to leave. When Harvey finally submerged nearly 70 percent of the land mass in Harris County, it affected everyone

Harvey did not discriminate

The poor suffered more during the disaster which was a nightmare similar to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a storm that claimed 1,800 lives and left impoverished New Orleans residents screaming for help on top of their roofs.

The storm is a typical example of environmental injustice and inequality in urban lives.

The possibility of the poor in Houston, who lack the resources of the affluent to rebuild what they have lost to the storm is slim. However, the unity among residents of Houston of all social strata and color are high, as the waters begin to recede. Local officials and aid workers are currently involved in relief efforts to assist victims.

Victim’s testimonies

55-year-old Lois Ross, who is a teacher in Northwestern Houston, said she left her home when the rising flood water in her room started lapping at her calves, and outside of her home, the flooded water nearly reached her neck. She added that she and her neighbors panicked as they struggle to form a human chain and that they battled against the powerful current and brownish water to make through to a nearby gas station on a higher ground and remained there for almost seven hours until they were rescued.

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Another resident, welder Ivy Anderson returned from work to find his house and belongings flooded and destroyed. As the powerful storm continued to rage, he carried his mother on his back and struggled with the treacherous flood. He watched his house filled up with brownish water. During the 2001 Tropical Storm Alison his house was not spared by the flood, but back then he had flood insurance. However, there is no insurance for him this time around.

Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed raid workers to assist flood victims, and Search and Rescue efforts are still ongoing to save rescue stranded victims of Harvey.