Hurricane Harvey survey: 46 percent say they were displaced by historic storm

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (left) released the initial results of the Hurricane Harvey Registry on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (left) released the initial results of the Hurricane Harvey Registry on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

Almost half of over 13,500 survey respondents had to leave their homes and were displaced for an average of 20 weeks as a result of Hurricane Harvey, according to initial results of the Hurricane Harvey Registry shared to the public on Feb. 21.

Mayor Sylvester Turner released the first public report of the Hurricane Harvey Registry, a collection of surveys completed by the people of Houston to detail the amount of environmental exposure and health effects received as a result of the event, at Houston City Hall on Thursday.

"We've repeatedly said, over and over again, that we want to build the city stronger, make it more resilient. We aren't building back, we're building forward," Turner said. "People are still recovering. When it rains, and it keeps raining, they're looking out the window."

Along with 46 percent of respondents having been displaced by the storm, the results indicated that about 44 percent had their houses flooded, 55 percent had their house damaged, 41 percent experienced income loss and 34 percent sustained vehicle damage.

Along with property damage, the survey also indicated the amount of those whose health problems could be directly linked to the hurricane, with about half having experienced runny noses, over a quarter reporting headaches and migraines, roughly a fifth reporting shortness of breath and about a tenth saying that they experienced skin rashes.

Loren Raun, the chief environmental science officer at the Houston Health Department, said that they are using the data from the survey in hopes to better connect community members adversely affected by the storm with health services like mold rehabilitation and asthma care.

With over 13,500 surveys completed already, the registry hopes to gain even more data in order to shed more light on the impact that Harvey had on the city, as well as to increase the city's ability to prepare and react to a similar crisis in the future.

The registry is a joint venture by the city of Houston, Rice University, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Houston Health Department and health departments from surrounding counties.

The Hurricane Harvey Registry was modeled after the World Trade Center Health Registry for people adversely affected in the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, and is the only existing survey of its kind, according to Rice University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda.

"I hate to use this phrase because it seems a little bit off, but we lost the opportunity to learn from Katrina," Miranda said. "The National Institutes of Health wanted to make sure that ... we learned as much as we could from this storm both for people of our region and across the United States."

The city of Houston encourages further public participation in the survey in order to get a clearer picture of Harvey's effects on the city, with the survey already being offered in both English and Spanish, with versions in Vietnamese and Mandarin coming soon. There is no planned cut off time for participation in the survey.

"This will help to drive our recovery," Turner said. "We need the information, we need the data, so this will help to provide and focus on our recovery."

 

<

MOST RECENT

Mayor Sylvester Turner said July 13 that he would like to see a two-week stay-home order in Houston. (Courtesy HTV)
Houston coronavirus updates: Mayor Turner seeking two-week shutdown; 1 in 4 tests coming back positive

Mayor Turner made a series of announcements July 13 related to COVID-19 precautions.

Public health officials in Houston and Harris County reported that 2,001 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed July 13, a new single-day record for the county. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 2,001 cases, 8 deaths confirmed July 13

Public health officials in Houston and Harris County reported that 2,001 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed July 13, a new single-day record for the county.

A Cy-Fair ISD employee distributes meals via curbside pickup for district students during the summer. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
'Community Impact Newspaper' seeks feedback and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news here.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, shown here in March, announced July 13 the U.S. Department of Defense would provide additional resource to help Texas combat COVID-19. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Department of Defense task forces deployed to help Texas combat COVID-19

Gov. Greg Abbott announced July 13 the U.S. Department of Defense would provide more resources to Texas to combat the rise of COVID-19.

A Cy-Fair ISD employee distributes meals via curbside pickup for district students during the summer. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
'Community Impact' now seeking feedback from parents, teachers regarding 2020-21 school year

Help us adequately cover local education by submitting feedback here:

The Texas Republican Convention was originally scheduled for July 16-18. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Texas Supreme Court rejects GOP appeal to host convention in Houston

The potentially 6,000-person event has drawn criticism in recent weeks from officials who perceive it as a threat to public safety.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo spoke about the county's continuing response to COVID-19 and a new small-business coronavirus relief program at a July 13 press conference. (Screenshot via Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)
Harris County now accepting applications for $30M small-business assistance program

Harris County businesses with fewer than 30 employees may apply for funding through July 24.

July 10 had 310 new cases—the highest amount in a single day since the pandemic reached the county. (Community Impact Staff)
Galveston County sees over 550 cases heading into weekend

July 10 had 310 new cases—the highest amount in a single day since the pandemic reached the county.

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: After three weeks of surging cases, death toll starts to rise

The seven-day rolling average of deaths per day in Harris County has increased from 3.86 on July 8 to 8.29 on July 12.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.