More than 48 hours after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast, dramatic images are pouring in that showcase the historic impact of the storm, which is the largest to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
And the worst is yet to come.
While the hurricane made landfall last Friday in Corpus Christi, the flooding is expected to get worse this week. Forecasters are predicting an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain will hit the Texas coast and Louisiana by Friday, bringing a whopping 50 inches of rain to some areas.
Some of the worst flooding has been in Houston.
Houston city officials, including Mayor Sylvester Turner, have come under fire for not evacuating the city. Turner defended his decision at a press conference.
“You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road,” Turner said. “If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare.”
While the effects of Hurricane Harvey have been absolutely devastating for the Gulf Coast, several inspiring videos of Texans making the best out of a dire situation have circulated around social media. One making its way through Instagram and Twitter shows someone riding a jetski through a flooded suburban street.
Others have documented Houstonian’s “resourcefulness.” With people retreating to their rooftops to seek refuge from the deluge, one photo showcases two camping tents pitched on top of a home.
Texans have come to each others’ aide in striking, creative ways. People have used all matter of flotation devices, from air mattresses and inflatable rafts to shopping carts and refrigerators, to usher their loved ones and neighbors to safety. Below, Jason Legnon and Dean Mize (seated) use an airboat to rescue Shardea Harrison and her three week old baby.
Experts have long forecasted that a major storm could disproportionately impact Houston, currently the nation’s most diverse city and the 4th largest in the country. In fact, just last month, Public Radio International ran a report about the city’s vulnerability to hurricane damage.
News agencies and social media users have also documented dramatic rescues around the Gulf Coast. One video shows the police shepherding a herd of cattle to safety. The Army National Guard has also been called in to assist with rescues and evacuations.
Because of the continued downpour this week, we still don’t know the full extent of Hurricane Harvey’s damage. Overhead shots taken today from helicopters and drones are just beginning to show the full extent of the damage.