Emergency management officials are estimating the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey will create a cleanup effort that could linger for years.
Employees at Serenity Thrift want to send help now and are using the store at Northgate Center as a drop-off point for much-needed personal care items. Donations are being accepted during regular Serenity Thrift business hours Monday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the store closing at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
“We’ve already sent one truck,” said Serenity Thrift manager Kathy Hill. “We’d like to send a truck every day if we can get it filled with enough donations. There are people who are in desperate need.”
Hill says supplies will be sent to the outlying areas of Houston, which was hit with rain estimated between 40 and 52 inches. It amounted to a year’s worth of rainfall in just five days.
Rooftops became islands and thousands of homes were destroyed. Many houses that are still standing will have to be leveled if they remain under water too long.
Hurricane Harvey is being compared to Hurricane Katrina which pounded New Orleans in August 2005. As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is much more densely populated with 2.3 million people, compared to New Orleans with around 500,000 residents at the time.
Houston is part of a coastal region that supplies nearly a third of U.S. oil refining capacity. Its port is the nation's second busiest. The city is headquarters to 20 Fortune 500 companies. NASA's Johnson Space Center is also based there.
FEMA said about 560,000 families are registered for its housing assistance program. It said 53,630 residents displaced by Harvey are currently in government-funded hotel rooms.
• Baby food
• Canned food
• Bottled water
• Flashlights/ batteries
• Shaving cream/ razors
• Feminine hygiene items
• Hand sanitizer