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Tornado Storm Damage Review - Downtown Houston

Written by Michael Thervil


Video and photos by Michael Thervil

Two weeks ago, the city of Houston and surrounding areas were battered by tornadoes and tornado like winds. As a consequence, the severe storm left many Houston residents without power, and many are still having to deal with the loss of electrical power in various parts in and around the city of Houston. But like always, Houston residents are still standing and remain strong. But the question is are people in Houston and the surrounding areas getting tired of having to “stay strong”?


This question comes to the forefront again as the recent storm is doing its job to remind not only the residents of Houston, but also all the residents of Texas that their policy and lawmakers are in fact bullshiting when it comes to incorporating an actionable plan when it comes to upgrading the city and state infrastructure. The reason for this claim is because of their failure to take the proper aggressive preventive measures to ensure that the energy infrastructure of Houston and the state of Texas in general is robust enough to stand up to the impact of severe storms and flooding that had been occurring in Houston and across the state.


Spending time in Downtown Houston Texas last weekend, we at VEDA Magazine had the opportunity to observe the various structural damages and the active repairing of the Downtown area of Houston that was deemed the most impacted by the storm. Not to make light of the devastation that the storm left behind, because many Houston residents did and are still suffering; but the Downtown area of Houston Texas is not and should not be considered a priority when it comes to repairing the damages caused by the storm. Why? Because the vast majority of Houstonians don’t live in Downtown Houston.


In fact, it can easily be advocated that the people that reside outside of the Downtown area in Houston should be the primary focus when it comes to rectifying what the storm system destroyed, not private businesses. From the perspective of many Houstonians that were adversely affected by the storm, those private businesses should not be allocated any of the city or the federal government resources to help in rebuilding their businesses and properties until the ordinary average working citizen has been awarded aid first. The reason why many Houstonians feel this way is because private businesses in the Downtown area have “insurance”.

Video and photos by Michael Thervil

High rise building owners and other private businesses such as Bank of America and Kinder Morgan, just to name a couple, have more than enough money and insurance to fix their own business. In fact, it would be of no surprise that they would be able to write off the repairs on their taxes at the end of their fiscal year. For many Houston residents, the walk through that Mayor John Whitmire took while he was surveying the Downtown area sent a symbolic message to Houston residents. That message was: “You don’t have enough money to get my attention right now.”


Granted, FEMA is providing federal funds for private businesses affected by the storm, but there is another set of issues that the average ordinary Houstonian is having with that and that is: “How many small business owners within the City of Houston are actually going to see any of that money?” The other issue that is plaguing the minds of the average Houstonian is: “Why isn’t Mayor Whitmire not advocating for the average citizen outside of the empty apologetic words that have come out of his mouth over the last two weeks?”


While Downtown last weekend, we spoke to a Houston Police Officer about the time to completion regarding the repairing of damaged buildings which house the private businesses that are getting federal aid from FEMA; he informed us that the city of Houston was looking to get everything completed within a month. In the same breath that same Police Officer doubted that the City of Houston could get it done in a month. As he informed us of that fact, he pointed out several infrastructural issues of concern that would most definitely retard the repair process time to completion.


The final question that’s on the minds of many Houston residents is: “How can the City of Houston make quick use of FEMA funds and make a guarantee of fixing all the damages caused by the storm in the Downtown area within a month, but not give the same guarantee to the average Houston residents that were affected by hurricane Harvey 7 years ago?” 

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