In the aftermath of a massive flooding, affected communities rush to get back to their feet. Some even try their best to attempt restoration even before it is safer to do so. Such is understandable especially since flood damage gets destructive by the minute.
Forward.com for instance covered the flood clean-up efforts in Jewish Communities following the Onslaught of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They mentioned the hundreds of volunteers who trooped to Houston, to help in the clean-up.
“Student volunteers from Chabad on Campus chapters at Tulane, the University of Colorado, Texas State University, the University of Texas, Louisiana State University and Texas A&M joined 200 volunteers from the Chabad Student Center at Rice University over the holiday weekend, bringing truckloads of supplies and assisting in the cleanup. Ten teenagers from the New Jersey region of NCSY, the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, also spent the holiday weekend in Houston helping with salvage efforts. Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on Aug. 25, destroyed nearly 800 homes in Harris County and damaged over 119,000, the Houston Chronicle reported.”
Take a look at the report here.
Immediate Flood Clean up
The website Vos Iz Neias also reported on the various flood clean-up efforts that preceded the flood inundation due to Hurricane Harvey. Jewish structures built in low-lying areas suffered much during the onslaught of Harvey.
“United Orthodox Synagogues is situated in a low lying area and has 350 member families. Rabbi Gelman, who lives across the street from the shul, said that when he left the shul after Shavuos at approximately 9:30 PM the rain had already begun but the streets were still clear. ‘By 12:30 there was water rushing through the front door,” said Rabbi Gelman. “Three of our five children were with us and we evacuated. We had to wade through four feet of water as we crossed the street to shelter in the shul.’ While the Gelmans originally planned to spend the night in the shul’s beis medrash, that plan was quickly scuttled when water began seeping in.”
The continuation of this article can be found here.
Strength to Restore
Flooding restoration does not only entail physical work. It also takes a huge emotional toll on everyone affected. And in the aftermath of storms, affected communities scramble for strength. The website Jewish Action discussed this in one of the articles they have published about the Houston Jewish Community and how it tried to get back to its feet after Hurricane Harvey’s devastation.
“Houston’s Jewish community is looking at about an eighteen-month timetable for total recovery, with an estimated $3.5 million price tag on the necessary support for individual flood victims and Jewish institutions, says Lee Wunsch, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. Among the 500 Jewish families in Houston whose homes were flooded, 250 need some kind of outside support, he says.”
The rest of the article can be found here.
The Haaretz has documented the many challenges that the Jewish community faced due to the storm damage that they sustained because of Hurricane Harvey. In one of their write-ups they described the magnitude of Harvey’s impact to the Houston Jewish Community.
“Close to three quarters of the 63,000 people living in Jewish households there reside in the areas hardest hit by the flooding, said Lee Wunsch, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. And while the city has faced other recent floods, this is the most extreme. ‘You can’t imagine what it’s like living in a community that has experienced three major floods in less than two years, and this was the worst one. It is almost unbelievable,’ Wunsch said. ‘We have received half our total yearly rainfall in just three days and it is still raining.’”
The rest of the report can be printed from here.
Flood clean up can indeed be the most taxing part in a flood restoration work. One of the silver linings though are the unexpected help that a community gets.