MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Harvey’s Heroes

Texans responded in heroic ways as Harvey wreaked havoc. In Houston, more than 6,000 people called 911 for high-water rescues, according to the Houston Press, and an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 water rescues have taken place there as of late Sunday night. The images and videos of rescue attempts are dramatic. The Coast Guard airlifted dozens of people to safety from their boats on the churning waters outside Port Aransas. Fifteen senior citizens were saved from a nursing home in Dickinson after a viral photo showing elderly women nearly submerged in rising floodwater circulated on social media, according to the Galveston Daily News. A reporter for Houston’s CBS affiliate KHOU broadcasted live as she helped first responders save a stranded truck driver before floodwater filled his cabin. And as rescue workers struggled to reach affected areas, volunteers all over Texas took their own personal boats out over the rising waters to save their neighbors. More help is on the way. First responders are heading toward Harvey-afflicted areas from all across the state, and even as far away as California and New York.

Trump’s Take

As Harvey barreled toward Texas and pummeled our cities, President Donald Trump tweeted a lot. In multiple tweets, he urged Texans to be safe and showed he was keeping tabs on the situation. But he also made several major non-storm related moves, such as pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and signing a ban on transgender military members, both of which drew criticism for supposedly using the storm to shield potential blowback. In between cheerful Twitter updates praising the federal, state, and local responses to Harvey, Trump also took time to tweet praise for a newly released book authored by controversial Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, once again called for the construction of a border wall, and threatened to terminate NAFTA. He also announced a trip to Texas. “I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety,” Trump wrote on Sunday morning, before following up with a second tweet: “I will also be going to a wonderful state, Missouri, that I won by a lot in ’16. Dem C.M. is opposed to big tax cuts. Republican will win S!” Trump is scheduled to arrive in Texas on Tuesday. His last tweet about Harvey came on Sunday night. “HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible.Thanks!”

Helping Hand

You don’t need a boat to help out with the rescue and recovery efforts—though if you do have one, your assistance is sorely needed. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced over the weekend that it’s looking for volunteer help with water rescues. If you have a “high-water, safe boat or vehicle,” the agency asks that you please help out (call the Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office at 713-881-3100 to coordinate ways you can help with rescues). Texas Monthly‘s Dan Solomon has compiled a list of reputable aid organizations you should donate to if you can, covering everything from dog food to diapers. Houston Texans star J.J. Watt has already raised nearly $300,000 on a fundraising website he set up during the storm. The Huffington Post has a solid list of ways to give money, give blood, or provide services and housing. Also, definitely read this ProPublica article about how to give to the right aid organizations after a disaster.