Reporting Harvey ’17: Solidarity Through Tragedy

Hurricane Harvey

While Hurricane Harvey has been and will continue to be a horrendous burden for the people of Texas, we’ve taken consolation in the many stories of people pulling together to help each other, share information, rescue those who couldn’t rescue themselves and staying positive despite the odds. And for that, we owe a lot to members of the press.

Here’s a Washington Post story that really got to us, about two friends hitching up their boat and heading to Southeast Texas to spend day after day helping wherever they could.

Another memorable one from the Austin American-Statesman filed from Rockport told the story of a local Whataburger firing up their generator and giving meals away to anyone who needed them. Whether you’re a fast food fan or gourmet, we can all agree that this Texas chain showed up when they were needed most.

The Statesman also deployed reporters to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston to capture the stories of Texans displaced by the storm. Over the course of several days, Andrea Ball and Tony Plohteski chronicled tale after tale, some uplifting, some heartbreaking – but all accurate, well-written and swift.

One can only imagine how hard Houston Chronicle reporters and editors have been at work the last two weeks. They have thoughtfully covered so many different areas where survivors and the region are affected: housing, school, fuel prices, agriculture to name a small portion of the breadth of their work.

Some reporters actually took part in rescue efforts, like CNN’s Ed Lavandera, becoming part of the story themselves.

In an age when many of the stories we hear in the media about government leave one with a sense of discouragement, NPR shared one that made our day, about Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist Jeff Lindner who stayed on the job day after day during the hurricane and its aftermath. In a story posted September 4th, Lindner confessed “the last time I slept really well was probably three or four days before the hurricane,” which hit August 25th. Thank you, Mr. Lindner, and thank you, NPR.

We wouldn’t have all these stories of Harvey without the hard-working reporters who strove around the clock to share them with us. My gratitude goes out to the members of the press who rolled up their sleeves and told us tales of loss, heroism and solidarity we’ll never forget.

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