Our neighbors to the west need our help

Published 6:00 am Friday, September 1, 2017

The images and stories coming out of Texas are horrifying and it is quite evident that the people need assistance immediately to save not only their belongings, but themselves.

Through Thursday, the death toll related to Hurricane Harvey stood at 31 in Texas and officials are expecting that number to rise in the days ahead.

Rescuers began the grim task of going door-to-door on Thursday pounding on doors and shouting as they looked for anyone — alive or dead — who might have been left behind in Harvey’s fetid floodwaters, which have now heavily damaged more than 37,000 homes and destroyed nearly 7,000 statewide.

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People are displaced all over Texas.

The Harris County Director for FEMA says the federal disaster agency is looking for unique ways to house the tens of thousands of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Harvey.

Tom Fargione said Thursday that FEMA hasn’t discounted any ideas because the housing problem is so big.

He says the first priority is getting people out of shelters and into some other form of temporary housing.

Beaumont, a city of 120,000 hit hard by flooding from the storm that roared ashore a week ago as a Category 4 hurricane, saw one of its two hospitals be forced to airlift 200 patients to other facilities because it no longer had potable water and access was limited by flooding.

Officials at Beaumont’s other hospital say they’ve decided not to move their patients elsewhere but are operating under “extreme emergency conditions.”

It is a sad situation that appears will get worse before it gets better.

But we need to let the folks of the Lone Star State know they are not alone and we here in Vicksburg are willing to help.