30% of Houston was underwater following the storm, the effects of which will be felt for years. In the immediate aftermath there was a strong feeling of togetherness in Houston as first responders took in those in need without question.
Whether a person was piloting a boat or in the water in need of rescue no questions were asked. The spirit of neighborliness and kinship for those in need was all that mattered.
Houston: "A City Without Limits"
Houston’s population climbed to 2.2 million in 2015, a 25 percent increase from 1995. Houston calls itself “the city with no limits” and has no zoning laws. With unchecked growth Houston’s swamps, farms, grasslands and marshlands have been paved over. The result is that excess water that once would have been soaked up no longer is and the vein that runs through Houston, the Buffalo Bayou, cannot contain the excess water resulting in the floods created by Hurricane Harvey.
An Uneven Recovery
It will take years for Houston to fully recover and for those digging out, they will recover at different paces owing to the financial resources each person has.
Amongst the first responders was every gender and race—including undocumented immigrants who were out rescuing their neighbors. Some of them were Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents without any knowledge of what their crossing the border would mean for them. Having lived in The United States their entire lives they are in every way citizens, except one: they lack the paperwork that would grant them citizenship giving them the right to fully engage in society.
On September 5th, a little over a week after the storm struck, the 45th president of The United States revoked Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals a program that has kept Dreamers from being deported. With their their status now in question the people who risked their own lives and saved others live in fear of being deported.
The lives of immigrants on every level were made much more difficult following the storm.