Biblical Level Hurricane Harvey Rain
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Though not forecast to continue for 40 days and nights, for residents of affected areas in Houston and surroundings, it must feel that way.
I’ve experienced two hurricanes and one earthquake years earlier, the latter scary but mild, the fury of heavy wind and rain downing trees and knocking out power worse, but nothing like Harvey.
Recovery was quick, life returning to normal, not for weeks or months for hardest hit Texas areas – a once in a lifetime event, likely the worst weather-related rainfall in US history before it ends.
On Friday evening, Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, its 130-mile-an-hour winds at Category 4 strength, bringing torrential rains with it, forecast to last until mid-week.
Now tropical storm Harvey, the National Weather Service said “life-threatening flooding continues over southeastern Texas.”
Rainfall through Thursday may approach or exceed 50 inches in hardest hit areas, a catastrophe of biblical proportions, many thousands affected.
According to meteorologist Jeff Masters, “(t)he situation in Houston is particularly concerning, given that city’s vast size and population and its well-known vulnerability to flooding.”
Harvey made landfall 12 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the tip of Florida before devastating New Orleans days later. Will anything like its aftermath follow in Houston and surrounding areas?
Katrina became a metaphor for disaster capitalism. It turned me into a writer and radio host, furious over federal, state and local authorities using it to reward business at the expense of New Orleans’ poor Blacks.
The city was woefully unprotected for what hit, levies protecting Black neighborhoods deliberately left weak. Then Rep. Richard Baker (R. LA) infamously said “(w)e finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it but God did.”
Poor areas were erased, upscale condos and other high-profit projects replacing them. Katrina’s aftermath was class warfare against the city’s most vulnerable population – no match for predatory developers turning tragedy into profit, aided by city, state and federal authorities.
The entire region was affected, nearly 100,000 square miles of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama communities destroyed or heavily damaged.
Over a million people were displaced. Hundreds of thousands lost everything. Billions of dollars in promised aid went for luxury hotels, casinos, private clubs, the oil industry and gentrification.
It’s a familiar pattern nationwide, with or without natural disasters, a uncaring nation leaving its most vulnerable people largely on their own.
Post-Katrina, schools were privatized. Rents became unaffordable for displaced Black families. Emergency trailers initially provided were sold at public auction.
America the beautiful is for its privileged few alone, the nation’s poor and disadvantaged increasingly on their own.
Is that what poor residents of hard-hit Texas areas can look forward to?
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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