The usually bustling metropolis of Houston, Texas and its 2.3 million residents has screeched to a halt in the wake of Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey, which dumped rain and brought flooding that National Weather Service forecasters called “beyond anything experienced.”
Fearing that ordering an evacuation could lead to people being stranded on roadways and interstates in the middle of the storm, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner did not issue a city-wide evacuation order. Shelters throughout the city are filling up, with some at up to four times holding capacity, and emergency services processed tens of thousands of calls Saturday and Sunday nights. The entire Texas National Guard has been activated to assist with search and rescue. So far, six people have died as a result of the storm, which is expected to continue dumping rain on Houston and surrounding areas well into the week and could bring rainfall totals close to 50 inches in some places. On AirTalk, we'll speak with a reporter who has been reporting on the storm from a North Houston neighborhood since it moved in on Friday night.
We’re also following the president’s response to Hurricane Harvey as he plans to make a visit to the Houston area when he can do so “without causing disruption.” Among his many tweets through the weekend were pledges of support from the federal government and words of encouragement to residents, first responders and public officials in Houston.
The president made news last Friday on a couple of fronts, signing a memo that prevents transgender people from enlisting in the military and pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who formerly led the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona, on charges of contempt of court. Finally, we’ll look at what happens if, as expected, the president ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
Rebecca Elliott, city hall reporter for The Houston Chronicle; she has been reporting since Friday from the Greenspoint area of Houston, a neighborhood north of downtown and south of Bush Airport; she tweets @rfelliott
Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College and author of the forthcoming book, “Protest Politics in the Marketplace: Consumer Activism in the Corporate Age” (Cornell University Press, 2017); she tweets @carolineheldman