Under normal circumstances, the month of September brings routine and predictability back into our lives. As we return home from family vacations, summer camps, and conferences, we welcome back a new school year, cooler temperatures, and annual fall festivities. This year, however, we find ourselves to be under anything but normal circumstances, as just a short time ago Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Coast. . .
Hurricane Harvey Response
What started as a Category 4 Hurricane, over 300 miles from House District 57, turned into the wettest tropical event that the United States of America has ever seen. After making landfall, Harvey made its way up the coast into the Greater Houston and Golden Triangle areas, then on into parts of East Texas. Along Harvey’s destructive path, homes have been wiped from the face of the earth, property and priceless memories ruined by flooding, and some lost their lives.
With such a massive recovery effort on the horizon, it can be hard to find encouragement and inspiration for what lies ahead. In the days and weeks to follow, as the debris is cleared and the water recedes, Hurricane Harvey will continue to show its ugly face. Some predict it will have a fiscal impact larger than any storm in history, perhaps in excess of $150 billion. Moreover, experts stipulate that, similar to Katrina and Rita, the recovery may take a decade or longer.
These incredible circumstances, however, have underscored the resilience and compassion of both the citizens of Texas and our neighboring states. With people forced to leave their homes to find higher ground from rising water, others from around the country fled to Texas to support us in this time of need – the now well-known Cajun Navy and the New York Police Department caravan that made its way through our district, come to mind. Meanwhile, our friends from less affected areas of our own state are rushing to send supplies, raise money, and open their homes and businesses to help the cause. In times like these, Americans make no mention of race or ethnicity, Republican or Democrat, rural or urban. No, in times like these, the quintessential spirit and determination of the American people shines through in our desire to rebuild lives, communities, and schools as quickly as possible.
In the weeks and months to come, as communities reestablish and families in the most affected areas start anew, remember the spirit and resilience shown when the storm was at its absolute worst. We cannot afford to lose momentum in the mission to rebuild a portion of our great state. If you can spare time – go help. If you can spare a dollar – please give. And if you need help of your own – don’t be afraid to ask.
For any information you may need regarding insurance claims, FEMA forms, problems with electricity, etc., please do not hesitate to contact my office where we will assist you in finding a solution. Further, should you have lost track of friends or family who evacuated the because of the storm, please check www.safeandwell.org – a website from the Red Cross and the Texas Division of Emergency Management who are registering evacuees at shelters across Texas.
The mobile office is on the road in September and looks forward to seeing you around the district. Here’s this month’s schedule: September 6th from 9:00am-11:00am at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville and from 1:30pm-3:30pm at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville; September 20th from 9:00am-11:00am at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett and from 1:30pm-3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton; and September 27th from 9:00am-11:00am at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.