Hurricane Harvey has affected many people across the United States and has even impacted professors and students here at the University of Sioux Falls.
Harvey first hit the mainland of Texas on August 25th. The heavy winds, rains and flooding continued until September 2nd, leaving widespread damage across the majority of Southern Texas.
Kevin Cole, a Professor of English at the University of Sioux Falls, was directly affected by the damage brought on by Harvey.
Cole was born and raised near Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi was in the direct path of the hurricane, causing major damage to the city and the surrounding areas. These areas included the Cole family farm in Bayside where he was raised and where his parents still live.
“Many of the people we knew in that little town have been enormously affected,” Cole says. “Well over half of them lost their home.”
With the timing of the hurricane coming at the beginning of the new school year, Cole had to make the decision on whether or not he would go down to Texas to help with the recovery effort. After receiving pictures of the damage to their home, he decided to make the trip back home.
“As soon as I had explained that I had to leave, it was not at all uncommon to receive an email expressing concern,” Cole says. “If you have ever been through something like that you know we’re (USF) a tight community.”
Cole was not the only person in the USF community to be affected by Hurricane Harvey. Michael Fletcher, a non-traditional sophomore at USF, also spent a good portion of his life in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Fletcher’s brother still lives in the area and was unable to work for over a week.
“My brother was sealed into his neighborhood for three days,” Fletcher says. “It’s rough seeing the pictures knowing your neighborhood is underwater.”
Millions of dollars in donations have been given to assist in the relief effort in Texas. If you would like to donate you can do so at https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey.
Story by Casey Kelderman | Video edited by Jacob VanEngen & Cordell Wright