Hurricane Harvey struck Texas this past weekend, making landfall early Saturday and leaving a path of utter devastation in its wake. For those of us unable to witness the storm’s impact firsthand, it can be difficult to fully understand how widespread and overwhelming the disaster truly is. Thanks to modern drone technology, hobbyist pilots have been able to document the aftermath in a way that simply wasn’t possible a decade ago, and it makes the destruction feel all the more real.
The videos are both interesting and heartbreaking. There are flooded neighborhoods and highways, businesses that look like they’ve been transplanted from a war zone, and citizens doing their best to navigate waterlogged streets without getting stranded.
Harvey is blamed for at least eight deaths (at the time of this writing), along with the potential for tens of billions of dollars in damage. The impact will be magnified by the fact that flood insurance isn’t included in the majority of homeowners’ policies, leaving many to wonder exactly how Houston will get back on its feet.
After expending the majority of its energy shortly after making landfall, Harvey has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. At its peak intensity, the storm reached category 4 hurricane status, which means sustained winds of between 130 and 156 miles per hour and (obviously) extensive flooding.
If you’re interesting in helping the relief efforts, the American Red Cross has set up a disaster relief fund which will go towards maintaining shelters for those displaced by the storm as well as medical supplies and food. GlobalGiving is another reputable organization that is currently taking donations for relief and recovery efforts.