The Atlantic

Hurricane Harvey Is Houston’s Unending Nightmare

A year after flood waters devastated the nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston remains trapped in an existential moment, struggling to find the funds to rebuild and reengineer and keep another such catastrophe at bay.  
Source: Ilana Panich-Linsman

HOUSTON—It’s a hypermodern skill, the ability to spot a viral moment in the face of strife. As Hurricane Harvey beat down on Houston, there was former Mayor Bill White, inching his way through waist-deep water, hiking staff in his right hand and laptop-stuffed briefcase tucked like a football in his left. And there was his neighbor, who, while waiting for White at the water’s edge, couldn’t resist a snapshot.

The photo—a prominent Houstonian weathering the storm, his gated home behind him—came to symbolize the equal-opportunity devastation of Harvey. It was a year ago this weekend that Harvey gutted hundreds of neighborhoods across the city, from upscale Kellywood to working-class Homestead. The blistering post-2016 news cycle ensured the storm would shrink from headlines after a few weeks. But to visit Houston is to absorb that, for an untold number of residents, the biggest rainstorm in the history of the continental U.S. continues to replay like a nightmare on loop.

For White, Hurricane Harvey began on Friday, August 25, 2017. Houston is no stranger to heavy rains, and neither is White: As mayor

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Dear Therapist: My Husband and I Don't Have Sex Anymore
Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at Dear Therapist, My husband and I have been married for three years. It was l
The Atlantic6 min read
In Defense of Big Little Lies’ Second Season
This article contains spoilers through the second season of Big Little Lies. Just to put this out there first: No, the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies wasn’t as good as the first. The plotting was minimal, leading up to an underwhelming showdo
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Stuff of Dystopian Nightmare
Commercial airliners are not usually restful environments, but February 2017 was a particularly fraught time for domestic air passengers. Donald Trump had become president a month earlier and had quickly issued his “travel ban” executive order, spark