Harvey Continues to Wreak Havoc in Texas Cities
The remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to produce heavy rainfall which is exacerbating already swollen rivers, lakes and bayous in southeast Texas. Earlier this weekend, Harvey caused significant damage when it made landfall near Rockport. The damage has been widespread as Governor Abbott has declared a State of Disaster for 54 Texas counties. Our thoughts and prayers go to the many Texans who have been impacted by this devastating storm.
The Houston area has been especially hit hard as they have had widespread flooding with more rain expected throughout the week. Reports are that Houston has received nearly three feet of rain so far with more expected throughout the week. Travel in and around Houston, the country’s fourth largest city is almost impossible. Other southeast Texas counties are also experiencing significant flooding. Evacuations of thousands of residents are continuing to occur along a 200 mile stretch from La Grange to Beaumont.
“It is the worst flooding we have ever seen and the fact that it is occurring over a heavily populated area, makes it that much worse,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT). “The state remains in a search and rescue mode of operation until the flood waters subside and we’re not sure when that is going to take place.”
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25 at Rockport, just east of Corpus Christi, with winds of 130 miles per hour. All power and cell phone service in that area has been knocked out and first responders say there is extensive damage in Rockport and nearby Port Aransas.
During the weekend, Harvey moved inland producing heavy rains that have inundated several cities. At least two major rivers, the Brazos and the Colorado, have reached record levels forcing evacuations along their path. To compound the problems, the flood waters are expected to remain high for several days forcing residents to seek shelter elsewhere, while their homes are filled with water.
Catastrophe teams from insurance companies are standing by in strategic locations ready to move in to assess the damage to areas that have been hardest hit. Insurance adjusters will be dealing with an overwhelming number of homes, businesses and vehicles that have been damaged by wind or flooded.
Texans are urged to contact their agents and insurance companies with their claims as soon as possible. Once you’re able to safely return to your property, policyholders should inspect their property and document any damage by taking pictures and video. Residents are urged to make temporary repairs, if possible, to prevent any further damage to their property. For some Texans, it may not be possible to return to their property for a few days and we urge you to only return when advised to do so by local and state authorities.
Once repairs begin, residents are warned to watch out for “storm chasers” who are going door to door soliciting for repair work and putting you at risk of shoddy work or fraud.. ICT recommends that residents seek the assistance of local building contractors who live and work in the area.
If you are in need of assistance during the storm recovery, there are several agencies standing by to assist Texans who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey:
FEMA: 1-800-621-3362 or www.DisasterAssistance.gov
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): www.FloodSmart.gov
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association: 1-800-788-8247 or www.twia.org
Texas Department of Insurance (TDI): http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/helpafterharvey.html
TDI’s Consumer Protection Help line: 1-800-252-3439
Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767 or www.RedCross.org
You can also keep up with the latest information on the storm and links to storm assistance at www.insurancecouncil.org/hurricanes