August 28, 2018–This week marks one year since Hurricane Harvey swept across Texas, killing dozens of people, displacing tens of thousands and causing more than $125 billion in damage. OpUSA remains committed to ongoing recovery efforts in Texas, and we are grateful to partners and supporters who make this important work possible. To support our programs in Texas, please visit give.opusa.org.
Click here for more updates on Texas one year after Harvey.
August 13, 2018–Last week, thanks again to the generosity of corporate partner ESAB, Operation USA delivered a $25,000 grant to Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) in support of the organization’s efforts to meet the legal advocacy needs of individuals with disabilities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Individuals of all ages with disabilities are especially vulnerable after disasters and face unique legal challenges in rebuilding their lives. DRTx has identified individuals with significant disabilities who were displaced and unnecessarily institutionalized in restrictive placements, such as nursing facilities, as a result of the storm. These individuals–who wish to integrate back into their communities–require legal counsel and zealous advocacy to combat housing discrimination, to gain access to health and personal support services, to obtain accommodations they are entitled to from service system providers, and to avoid inappropriate institutionalization. DRTx will provide tiered legal advocacy to meet individual needs, and will continue to advance their mission of helping people with disabilities understand and exercise their civil rights under the law.
We are so pleased to be able to support this important organization.
July 11, 2018–This week, Operation USA delivered two additional grants to community-based partners in Texas: Communities in Schools of Houston and the Southeast Texas Food Bank. Both grants were made possibly by generous corporate partner ESAB.
A $25,000 grant to Communities in Schools of Houston (CIS) will help address an immediate need for mental health services in the 2018-19 school year by providing trauma-informed counseling and support groups to students at three schools where the need is high. These school districts have specifically requested mental health support for students who are struggling to cope with the trauma and loss they feel as a result of Hurricane Harvey. In addition to being injured or seeing loved ones injured by the storm, students have also lost their homes, their belongings, their loved ones and pets. Professional treatment for children affected by the disaster can help prevent or minimize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and aid in the healing process.
A $20,000 grant to the Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont will help address food insecurity as impacted communities continue to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. In many instances, families who were food secure before the storm are now using their resources to repair homes or replace vehicles, or to cope with displacement. As a result, the need for adequate, nutritious food resources has grown. With funds provided by OpUSA, the food bank will provide approximately 180,000 pounds of fresh produce to be distributed to the community via local churches and food pantries, as well as via additional agency partners supporting ongoing recovery efforts.
We are so pleased to be able to support these worthy organizations.
February 27, 2018–Though five months have passed since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, long-term recovery efforts for all those impacted have only just begun. Operation USA remains committed to helping children and families recover in the wake of this devastating storm. This week, we delivered a $10,000 grant to the Alliance for Multicultural Services in Houston. Those funds will be used to support families in Harris and Brazoira counties with mental health care, psychological support and emotional recovery–ensuring that those who are vulnerable after the storm have much-needed guidance in gaining access to available resources for recovery. Thank you to our donors for making this work possible.
November 3, 2017–Two months after Hurricane Harvey battered Texas and caused widespread damage and devastation, clean up and recovery continues. Tens of thousands of Texans continue to reside in temporary housing, while many schools remain closed. The disaster caused a reported $73.5 billion in damages, making it the second costliest disaster in US history after Hurricane Katrina.
OpUSA is currently in the process of vetting community-based partners for the distribution of cash grants in the coming weeks and months. As needs are identified, we’ll deliver funding to worthy groups working to restore health and education services and to provide recovery aid for children and families impacted by the disaster. Your donations are making this vital work possible.
For all the latest news on recovery in Texas, click here.
October 6, 2017–Since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas last month, OpUSA program staff members have been on the ground in the greater Houston area assessing damage, meeting with impacted families and distributing funding. We would like to thank our employees and volunteers who have tirelessly been working to support impacted communities as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In the months ahead, OpUSA will shift its focus to long-term recovery projects aimed at bolstering health and education. As opportunities allow, we will ship additional recovery materials, such as hospital equipment, and will establish partnerships in overlooked and under-served communities in which there is a high need for recovery support. We thank you for making this work possible.
September 19, 2017–This week, a team of OpUSA staff and volunteers are on the ground in the greater Houston area to assess storm damage, meet with impacted families and distribute funds for relief. The truckloads of relief materials sent from OpUSA’s warehouse in Los Angeles two weeks ago have been received by the Central Texas Food Bank and items are being distributed where needed.
Damage across Texas’s southern coast is extensive, and the recovery process will take years. In addition to immediate relief projects. OpUSA has already begun to connect with community-based partners and identify opportunities for long-term recovery aid. Donations to OpUSA’s Harvey relief efforts will be directly and fully allocated to this cause. We thank you for your generous support.
To help Harvey survivors on the road to recovery, visit give.opusa.org.
September 5, 2017–Today, OpUSA staff and volunteers loaded six trucks at our Port of LA warehouse and sent them off to Texas. See photos here.
OpUSA staff members are currently on the ground in the greater Houston area performing damage assessments.
For continued updates on Hurricane Harvey damage and national response efforts, click here.
September 1, 2017–Operation USA will deploy six truckloads of supplies to Texas from our Port of LA warehouse on Tuesday, September 5th. The shipment will arrive in Austin, where it will be organized for distribution to impacted communities by the Central Texas Food Bank.
A response team comprised of five OpUSA staff members will travel to Texas this weekend, where they will meet with impacted parties, assess damage and begin evaluating needs.
As rain has let up and the storm has dissipated, the extent of damage across Texas is becoming fully apparent. Devastation is severe. Learn more here.
August 31, 2017–The death toll has climbed to 39 as conditions remain challenging for people across southern Texas. Beaumont is without running water after Harvey damaged pumps, resulting in the closure of medical centers and hospitals. Some residents reported waiting in line for hours to buy limited quantities of bottled water. Areas of Port Arthur are also without running water, and many residents there remain stranded in their homes without food, water and other necessities. In Crosby, a chemical plant caught on fire and more explosions are expected. Additional chemical plants and oil refineries along the coast have also been shut down.
In Houston, floodwaters have begun to recede, but door-to-door search and rescue efforts continue in some areas still under several feet of water. Officials expect the death toll to rise as neighborhoods become more accessible and more extensive search efforts are completed.
Operation USA has launched relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This week, we staged six truckloads of relief supplies including shelter kits, personal hygiene items, sanitation cleanup kits, exam gloves, first aid kits, blankets and pillows, air purifiers, portable generators and power kits for shipment to Austin and Houston. Those materials will leave our Port of LA warehouse on Tuesday for transport to Texas. OpUSA has also begun the process of identifying community-based organizations on the ground in the hardest hit areas for financial support and long-term recovery aid.
People from across Texas, the country and the world have come together in inspiring acts of heroism and generosity to help people impacted by Harvey. Operation USA thanks all supporters who have contributed to our relief efforts so far. To give now, visit give.opusa.org.
August 30, 2017–A record-breaking 50 inches of rain has fallen in some parts of Texas. As lakes, rivers and reservoirs overflow, several levees have failed and two Houston-area dams have overflowed. While 13,000 people have been rescued so far, many more people have become stranded as rain continues to fall and floodwaters continue to rise, forcing more communities to evacuate. Volunteers and rescue workers have started door-to-door searches for more survivors as authorities say they’ve received as many as 70,000 calls for help. By Wednesday morning, 31 people had reported dead.
Though the storm has shifted away from Houston, Harvey made landfall for a second time in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area, inundating the area with water. Rain is expected to continue falling there until Friday. Communities in southwestern Louisiana and parts of Kentucky are also now bracing for the storm.
August 29, 2017–As rain continues to fall in Texas and parts of Louisiana, and some levees have been breached, flooding continues to intensify. High winds and possible tornadoes also continue to threaten some areas. Authorities on the ground are working to assess the full extent of damage, though unprecedented flooding and other challenges are making the process difficult and search and rescue operations remain a priority as conditions continue to worsen in some areas.
Thousands of people have been rescued by first responders and volunteers so far, while many more people remain unaccounted for. As of Tuesday, officials had confirmed 16 deaths, including a Houston police officer who drowned in his patrol car and a family of six who became trapped in their vehicle. The tally of displaced persons remains fluid amidst chaotic conditions, with early estimates saying 30,000 people have had to flee their damaged homes.
The Texas National Guard has been deployed to impacted areas to assist in search and rescue, medical evaluations, and other relief assignments. Many volunteers, relief organizations and other groups have begun relief and recovery efforts in impacted areas. President Trump arrived in Texas on Tuesday to survey the devastation. All those responding continue to work on identifying the extent of damage and launching necessary recovery efforts for all those impacted.
The Washington Post has a full update/assessment of the situation to date here.
August 28, 2017–Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it has stalled over Texas and continues to dump heavy rain and strong winds across the state, causing what the NHS is calling “unprecedented” flooding. Some experts predict a record-breaking 50 inches of rain may fall in some areas.
As of Sunday evening, reports say thousands of people were seeking to be rescued from their flooded homes. Many more remain stranded in homes and on roofs as the water continues to rise. Emergency services continue to be overwhelmed in the greater Houston area, where many people did not evacuate before the storm hit. All across Texas, millions of people have been impacted by Harvey. Hundreds of thousands of people were without power, while many more have been displaced from their homes due to voluntary evacuation or flooding.
The aftermath of this storm will be devastating. Today, sad photos portraying the vast extent of damage have emerged. OpUSA is poised to aid response and recovery efforts as soon as circumstances allow. Thank you to all those who have contributed to our efforts so far.
To help recovery now, visit give.opusa.org.
August 27, 2017–Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but continues to bring rain and heavy winds to communities across southern Texas. Historic flooding–meteorologists estimate more than 340 billion gallons of water–is being reported in Houston, as Harvey dumped 25 inches of rain the area. Early this morning, flash flood warnings were issued for twelve counties. Officials have confirmed three deaths.
Those who did not evacuate before the storm moved in have been advised to shelter in place or to move to higher ground when possible. Houston emergency services were at capacity on Sunday, with officials urging citizens to avoid calling for help except in situations of “imminent danger.” As rivers overflowed and homes flooded, many families have found themselves stranded, as the storm will continue to hover in the area for several days.
OpUSA continues to monitor the situation in Texas as the storm batters cities across the southern half of the state. As damage becomes known, we will prep response and recovery efforts. To help, visit give.opusa.org.
August 26, 2017– Hurricane Harvey made landfall early this morning as a Category 4 storm, with winds reaching 130 miles per hour as it moved on shore between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor. As of 2 a.m. ET, the storm had been downgraded to a Category 3, with winds dropping to 125 miles per hour. The storm is expected to hover over parts of southern Texas for several days, increasing the likelihood of damage and extensive flooding. Updated reports say rainfall in some areas could reach 40 inches by Wednesday.
Damage is not yet known as those who did not evacuate the area, including first responders, have sheltered in place as they wait for the storm to pass. Some areas are reporting structural damages and building problems while trees, street signs and utility poles have been knocked down by strong winds. More than 200,000 people have reportedly lost power.
Operation USA continues to monitor the situation while assessing opportunities to deliver aid.
August 25, 2017– Hurricane Harvey continues to gain strength as it moves toward the Texas coastline, developing into a Category 2 storm. Residents in many areas of the state take precautionary measures (piling sandbags, boarding up windows) while many others evacuate. A hurricane warning is now in effect for 1.5 million people. A tropical storm warning is in effect for an additional 16 million people.
Experts predict “catastrophic” conditions as the storm surge is expected to stall over the state, dropping up to 35 inches of rain and bringing winds up to 110 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service in Houston: “The combination of heavy rain, ‘life-threatening’ storm surges, flooding and strong winds could leave wide swaths of South Texas ‘uninhabitable for weeks or months.'” Many experts say Harvey will be the most devastating storm since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005. After making landfall, the storm will likely continue to batter parts of Texas and Louisiana into next week.
Operation USA has committed to recovery efforts in Texas. We will deliver both financial and in-kind recovery aid as needed to affected communities, and will rely on long-standing partners in the area to facilitate the distribution of aid.
Donations from the public and corporate partners are crucial at this time.
August 24, 2017– Tropical Storm Harvey, threatening states along the Gulf coast, becomes Hurricane Harvey as winds exceeded 80mph. Experts report the storm will make landfall in Texas early Saturday morning as a Category 3 Hurricane. Because the storm will likely stall over parts of southeast Texas through the weekend, extreme rainfall and flash flooding are predicted, leading some communities in the storm’s path to preemptively begin evacuations as the Governor declared a State of Emergency for thirty coastal counties.
Operation USA monitors the storm as it moves toward land. With longtime partners in communities expected to be impacted by the storm, we communicate with organizations in the area preparing to assess needs and damages during and in the wake of the storm. Operation USA begins staging relief materials at our warehouse in Port of LA for possible shipping to affected communities.
August 23, 2017– As Tropical Storm Harvey gains strength, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces a state of disaster for 30 coastal counties.
To help our relief and recovery efforts:
This is a developing situation.
For the most recent news on Hurricane Harvey, click here.