Gifts, Pledges for Harvey Relief Top $50 Million

Gifts, Pledges for Harvey Relief Top $50 Million

According to an analysis conducted by Foundation Center, donations and pledges totaling more than $50 million have been made to address needs resulting from Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic flooding it has caused, with more funding — and flooding — expected in the days to come.

By 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, thirty-two corporate donations of $1 million or more had been announced in support of relief and recovery efforts, including $10 million from Verizon Communications and $2 million from Apple's Contributions Program that includes a two-to-one match of employee gifts. Like the donation from Apple, 55 percent of the largest corporate pledges have been made to the American Red Cross, although the United Way of Greater Houston's Flood Relief Fund has received a number of $1 million donations, including contributions from the NFL Foundation, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Houston Texans Foundation.

What is being described as the most extreme rain event in U.S. history has dumped more than a trillion gallons of water on an area to the south and east of Houston — the most ever produced by a single storm in the continental United States. Now downgraded to a tropical storm, the system is forecast to track into the Gulf before heading over southeast Texas again and on into Louisiana. As of Tuesday afternoon, levees in Brazoria County, which lies between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico, had been breached, according to CNN, while the Washington Post was reporting that water was spilling from the gates of the Addicks Reservoir. Local officials also expect Barker Reservoir — to the south of Addicks — to begin overspilling. Farther to the east, heavy rains have been soaking Louisiana as far east as New Orleans, which is under a flash flood watch, having experienced extensive flooding earlier this summer.

With the storm still doing damage, officials have been scrambling to round up boats and volunteers to help remove people from their flooded homes, as well as doctors, nurses, and social workers to help tend to the thousands of storm victims who have been forced into shelters. While Houston officials have pledged that the city will have enough shelter space to accommodate all those forced from their homes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is predicting that it will be needed in the area for years to come, and FEMA administrator Brock Long has said he expects more than four hundred and fifty thousand people to apply for federal assistance. "We're going to be here for several years helping you guys recover," said Long. "The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen."

Madison Park, Holly Yan, Rosa Flores. "‘Get Out Now!’ Levee Breaches South of Houston as Flooding Intensifies." CNN.com 08/29/2017. Sandhya Somashekhar, Kevin Sullivan, Mark Berman. "Houston Struggles to Determine Extent of Harvey Flooding Devastation as Trump Visits Texas." Washington Post 08/29/2017. Richard Perez-Pena, Julie Turkewitz, Jack Healy. "Deluged Texas Braces for More Rain, and Years of Recovery." New York Times 08/28/2017.