There is still a lot we do not know as far as the number of Dominicans affected by Hurricane Harvey, since information changes regularly. But from the photos and the reports from fellow Dominicans, we can guess that quite a number have been affected; since the flooding was so wide spread.
There are over ten or more confirmed Dominicans in the Houston area that were severely affected by Hurricane Harvey. Many of whom had to be evacuated to Shelters, some stayed at Hotels, others moved in with family members. As far as we know, there were no Dominican fatalities reported besides loss of personal property in their homes, apartments, vehicles underwater, and loss of income.
At this point, Houstonians are returning home to see what damage Hurricane Harvey had done. It’s amazing to see the devastation, so many homes damaged; lots of wet soaking floors, rooms covered in water marred by a grimy waterline more than five feet of the walls. There are piles and piles of household debris piled up by the streets. Everything in the homes has to be thrown away, since they cannot try to dry stuff out, because their clothes and stuff still has an odor.
Harvey has edged away from Houston and most areas are now dry. The water has receded, streets and most highways are clear, and most areas are now dry enough for evacuees to return; however, they face a long process of rebuilding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has stated that volunteers will be needed for the next couple of years. So, at this point in time; its neighbors helping other neighbors during the aftermath in the rebuilding process.
The Dominica Houston Association (DHA) has formed a Volunteer team to assist neighbors and others who need assistant to rip out the carpet, flooring boards and sheetrock in their homes, before mold begins to accumulate. We have register with the Red Cross, Shelters other agencies to volunteer our services to help.
DHA has been mobilizing, calling everyone we know to check on them. We are assisting our fellow Dominican affected by referring them to the Dominica Houston Association website www.dominicahoustonassociation.org to register for any sort of assistance they can receive. DHA has created a donation tab on its website for the people calling in, and would like to make a monetary donation.
We have made several phone calls and reached out to fellow Dominicans that we know were affected. Dominicans are very resilient people and are starting over day by day, living with family and friends, and trying to rebuild their lives. We are working in partnership with the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, who has provided vital information to be distributed in the state of Texas. DHA has provided pertinent information for immediate emergency assistant, and referred those affected to file a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other Agencies; which offers aid.
The Dominica Houston Association Independence Gala is scheduled to take place on October 21, 2017. We are aware that the Houston was severely affected by Hurricane Harvey; however, as far as we know, the venue area is all clear. Therefore, so far, DHA has not made any decisions to cancel the event. So the Gala Event is still on and is scheduled to take place on October 21, 2017. In the meantime, we are monitoring and gathering facts on any changes or any further plans that may occur. We encourage everyone to attend in support.
We pray for Houston and for all those affected by the Hurricane Harvey; and join hands to work together to assist in the aftermath of the rebuilding effort process.
5802 Grapevine St.
Houston, TX 77085